In celebration of the upcoming Sikh New Year festival, Vaisakhi (April 14) Birmingham Metro Bank is appealing for food to be donated in its High Street store in aid of a local charity - SIFAs Fireside. SIFA Fireside is a Birmingham based charity which supports adults who are homeless or vulnerably housed.

“As a community bank, Metro Bank is integral to many local fundraising events”, explains Birmingham Metro Bank store manager, Beth Freeman.

“We are asking our colleagues and customers to support our food drive to help celebrate one of the most important dates in the Sikh calendar.  This year over 30 of our stores will be supporting local foodbanks.

“We are particularly keen to collect what the foodbank currently needs as they are appealing for specific items including sugar, baked beans, biscuits, crisps, long life fruit juice, squash, tinned meat including chilli, meatballs, ravioli and curry, tinned fish or fruit, as well as cereal bars, instant meals and chocolate.”

The need for local foodbanks has never been greater with more than 14 million people in the UK living in poverty – including nearly 5 million children.