The largest provider of food banks in Britain has seen a huge surge in donations after a newspaper article criticising the charity sparked a social media funding drive.
The Trussell Trust says it is "overwhelmed by the public's generosity" as a new appeal has now topped £38,000, a rise of well over £35,000 since before the article was published.
The Help Crack UK Hunger campaign launched at the start of the year and by 19th April had raised roughly £2,000, with 238 donations made. The total stands at £38,962 at the time of writing, after 3,540 donations.
The Mail on Sunday published an article claiming the food banks were giving out bags of shopping without proper checks and claimed that some people were 'abusing the system' by taking more handouts then they were entitled to.
After the article was published a social media reaction saw many people start to donate to the JustGiving page of the charity to donate over the Easter weekend.
Many of those donating on the website used their comments and tweets to cite the Mail on Sunday article as the reason behind their donation:
@trusselltrust excellent response & my thanks for all you & the 30,000 volunteers do to ease the pain & suffering of those most in need.
Saying goodnight with a HUGE THANKYOU to everyone who donated & tweeted support today! Incredible £36,000 & counting> http://t.co/8LvtQR8Xcw
– Trussell Trust statement
We've been totally overwhelmed by the generosity of so many people following the Mail on Sunday's article. It's been amazing to see thousands of people react to the article by donating to help people in crisis! We'd like to say a huge thank you to everyone who's given.
We won't know the total raised until our fundraising team are back in the office but we know that what we've already seen on justgiving - £30,000 raised in a day - will make a big difference to lots of struggling families. What an incredible Easter Sunday blessing!
The figures do not include donations which have been made directly to the charity or by text or other means.
- You can donate to the campaign on the JustGiving page
Last week the Trussell Trust issued a report that almost a million adults and children received emergency supplies from food banks in the past year - a "shocking" rise of 163% on the previous 12 months.