MP John Healey will be showing Christmas cheer in a different way this year – by giving hundreds of pounds to local food banks.

The Wentworth & Dearne MP is converting cards to cash, and will donate £750 in place of around 750 cards he usually sends.

He said: “Sadly more people in our area are being forced to use food banks, and the pandemic is making it worse.

“In the last few days we’ve seen local councils and small businesses stepping up to fill the gap left by government and making sure children don’t go hungry.

“Our food banks do an incredible job and will be key to helping make sure families have food on the table at Christmas and through the winter.”

The MP usually runs a competition with local schools for children to design his Christmas card. He personally pays for the cards to be printed and posted.

This year he will recycle last year’s design by Kelsie Hackett of Goldthorpe Primary School (pictured), and will send most out electronically.

He will donate £250 to three food banks spread across the constituency – in Wath, Sunnyside and Goldthorpe.

The Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks, says that their food banks saw an immediate and sustained surge in need as Covid-19 hit, with an 89 per cent increase in the number of emergency food parcels given out in April compared with the same month in 2019. Half of people had never needed to use a food bank before.