The cupboards are bare at St George’s Crypt.
And the renowned Leeds charity which helps tens of thousands of destitute and homeless people every year is appealing for help.
The Crypt has launched its annual harvest festival appeal and is asking schools, churches and businesses to respond.
The 2012 appeal takes the theme ‘Harvest Home’ reflecting a common theme in many harvest hymns and songs.
Harvest is traditionally a time when the Crypt stocks up on non-perishable foods which help its kitchen staff to provide hearty meals for its clients throughout the year.
“We are also always delighted to receive toiletries – soap, deodorant and shampoo as these are used on a daily basis and are increasingly expensive to purchase,” said the Crypt’s fundraising director Martin Patterson.
Many local churches and schools deliver their harvest collections and produce to the Crypt from early September to late October.
“We are ready,” said Mr Patterson. “Indeed, the cupboards are quite bare, ready to be filled by the usual generosity of people in our region.”
The Crypt opened in 1930 when the Vicar of St George’s church, the Rev Don Robins, cleared out the church’s vaults to create a refuge for victims of the Great Depression – the world recession which saw millions lose their jobs.
The recession created widespread homelessness at home and abroad.
Coffins and remains were removed from the Crypt and given a formal burial, and the Crypt took in people from the streets, providingb warmth, food, companionship and a bed for the night.
The measure was intended to be temporary, but more than 80 years later its work continues.
The Crypt’s work has expanded enormously since the 1930s. It has developed partnerships with local colleges and businesses to provide training for work.