Generous donations have flooded in to support struggling families in Copeland.

Almost £5,000 has been raised in less than a week for the Copeland Christmas Food Project, which aims to ensure no child goes hungry over the school holidays this festive season.

The campaign is being spearheaded by Whitehaven RUFC’s Jordan Mattinson, who launched a Crowdfunder page after MPs voted down a motion to extend free school meals during the holidays last week.

“I was brought up by a single parent and if it wasn’t for my grandma and my granda we’d have went without a lot of the time," he said.

“It doesn’t matter what people’s circumstances are. No kid should be going without food.

“It’s a bitter pill to swallow when it’s been announced MPs could get a £3,000 pay rise.

“West Cumbria is not a rich area and some people do live on the breadline.”

Figures from the Department for Education show that in the last school year 1,748 children in Copeland were eligible for a free school meal.

Jordan has made this figure his target and is aiming to pull together as many food parcels containing at least a week’s worth of meals to be given to low-income families over the Christmas holidays.

He has contacted local schools to confirm numbers of children in receipt of free school meals and has also got the backing of local supermarkets and Bookers wholesalers.

Morrisons has offered to donate food and a 15 per cent discount on any food bought from the store by the food project.

Jordan was blown away to see more than £1,000 had been raised less than 24 hours after launching the fundraiser, with the total continuing to rise.

“It’s been unbelievable," he said. "It just shows how much people around here want to look after their own and how much they care.

“The community spirit that has been shown is unbelievable.

“I know Facebook can be a terrible thing but it has got its uses.”

A donation day for Copeland Christmas Food Project is being held at the Marchon Club on December 12 from 10am to 4pm.

Visit to donate.