FOOD banks "caught in a perfect storm" of rationing and high demand should be made a special case, according to a top policing chief.

North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones made the appeal after news that an award-winning Conwy food bank could be forced to close by a double-whammy of restrictions brought in by supermarkets to tackle the Coronavirus crisis.

Llanfairfechan Food Bank expects to cease operating this week after two and a half years despite a £2,500 Your Community Your Choice award grant from the Commissioner earlier this month due to the limits enforced by supermarkets to cut down on panic buying.

Penny Andow, one of the organisers of the food bank, said: “We can’t open on Wednesdays with only two staff which we are limited to after Boris Johnson’s announcements on Monday and the supermarket restrictions mean we can’t buy enough goods for our customers.

“We have had so much demand because of the epidemic that it’s just not safe to run the food bank with two people and in any case we can’t buy enough goods even though we’ve had this wonderful grant from the Commissioner which we’re so grateful for.

“We’re just caught in a perfect storm. We spend £200 every week with ASDA but last week we only received £50-worth because of restrictions caused by panic buying.

“Last week we handed over 13 food parcels at the church hall and delivered another 13 but we’ve only got enough for 30 parcels left now and they’ll be gone this week.

“It’s not just us. It’s a crisis being faced by food banks across the country. We can’t operate with only two volunteers because they’d be overwhelmed and in any case we can’t buy enough food anyway.

“I think the role of food banks will have to be taken on by the Army while this crisis continues.”

Mr Jones said: “Organisations like the Llanfairfechan Food Bank carry out a fantastic service and I was delighted to be able to give them the award.

“They are desperately needed by vulnerable people and hard-up families but now they look like being forced out of operation so where will the needy get these food essentials in future?

“I understand the supermarkets finding themselves between a rock and a hard place – they’re trying to address panic buying but this is having unintended consequences for charities like food banks.

“They should be able to carry letters identifying themselves as accredited food banks so they can buy a reasonable quantity without stripping the shelves of all stock.”