STUDENTS endured the heat of the kitchen to tackle a hot topic which is blighting the community in the North East.

Year 10 pupils at Emmanuel College, Gateshead, baked batches of cakes in aid of the local food bank to help people who have fallen on hard times.

Recession and the influx of refugees and asylum seekers have seen rising numbers of people facing hunger.

Gateshead Food Bank was set up by the national charity the Trussell Trust and has already helped 850 people who have no money for food.

Vouchers are issued by Citizens Advice, the health service or other statutory bodies and the food bank distributes food boxes to those in need with enough provisions for three days.

Students split into teams to bake cupcakes, cookies and tray bakes which were sold to raise much-need funds for the food bank.

Emmanuel College charities co-ordinator Gill Lisk said: “The students visited the food bank and were moved and motivated by the experience.

“Many of the students hadn’t baked before but they followed the instructions well and came up with some great cakes.”

Leanne Mitchison, 15, of Gateshead, added: “It is shocking to think that there are so many people in our region who can’t afford to buy food so we were only too pleased to do something to help.”

The project was part of the college’s annual community activities and outreach week, which saw 1,000 students involved in educational trips overseas, volunteer projects and sponsored events including singing at the official launch of Esther Rantzen’s Silverline and a sponsored static cycle on Gateshead Quayside for Action Foundation.