RAF servicemen and women have been lending a hand to decorate a West Oxfordshire food bank.

They volunteered to help paint the building at Alvescot Road Recreation Ground in Carterton, where the food bank will open in a few weeks.

Carterton Mayor Lynn Little said that families in the town are struggling to feed themselves and have been relying on the nearest food bank in Witney.

She said: “I was talking to the woman who runs the Witney food bank and she told me they had had a number of people coming from Carterton – I was shocked.”

Mrs Little explained that a number of those using the food bank were military wives, so they had decided to call on the RAF for help.

Flight Lieutenant Jamie Elliot, one of the volunteers, said: “We try to help the community we work and live in because we reap the benefits, or at any rate our families do.”

The recreation ground building was chosen as the location for the food bank but an disused room needed to be renovated before it could be put into action.

A team of eight people from Brize Norton station supplied paint, cleared old furniture from the room, painted it, and prepared it for food storage.

Flt Lt Elliot, 32, said: “It was a little worse for wear and needed some TLC – we’re there to give a bit of manpower, really.

“Next up is putting up shelving and making it suitable for food. It may need new flooring put in place as well.”

Mrs Little said: “The team were absolutely wonderful, they painted more than they should have.”

The food bank will provide tinned and dry food, as well as nappies and hygiene products, for those in need.

Mrs Little said: “It’s not abject poverty, it’s more about making ends meet in that last week before pay day, making it stretch that little bit further.”

Carterton food bank will be the second food bank in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Witney constituency.

Mrs Little added: “I like to think that people will be able to manage once the economy has improved, but for now I am reacting to a situation.

“It’s no reflection on the people of Carterton – this is happening to people up and down the country.”