THOUSANDS of people are to be supplied with free food this Christmas thanks to the work of The Salvation Army.

The Christian Church and registered charity has run internationally for more than 150 years and is aiming to provide 3,000 people with food this Christmas.

It includes more than 700 food hampers for those in need this Christmas, containing everything necessary for a traditional Christmas dinner.

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The packages will be sent to families living below the poverty line across Reading Central and Lower Earley, and a dinner will be held for around 30 elderly locals who would otherwise be alone at this time of year.

Members of the organisation will be asking for donations from the public whilst the Salvation Army band perform Christmas carols in the Oracle and on Broad Street.

Church leader Major Richard Welch said: “We are committed to helping our local community and those people who are in need over Christmas.

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"The Salvation Army receive donations from the kind-hearted public who give to us when the corps band plays Christmas carols in Broad Street and The Oracle shopping centre.

"The support of the general public makes giving food parcels possible, along with the hard work of our members and volunteers.”

The Salvation Army have been spending the rest of this year providing 844 packed lunches for local children and their families across Reading, who otherwise would struggle to afford and provide food.