The Sovereign Base Area police community unit in Dhekelia will donate packages to families in need over the next week, as part of its Food Aid initiative, it said on Monday.

More than 50 food and essentials packages will be distributed over the next week “to help ease some of the financial pressures that the Christmas period brings to many”.

Launched after the 2012 economic crisis, the initiative will see packages of dried and tinned foods and other essentials such as toothpaste, donated to families.

Items for this latest round of donations were purchased with money raised at a recent football tournament between the SBA police, SBA customs and an Ethnikos Legends team.

Donations from members of the surrounding communities were collected during the tournament and will be delivered by SBA police officers to families which have been identified by local community councils.

Speaking this week, sergeant Maria Mitsides, who heads up the SBA police community unit, said it was great to see the people pulling together to help those in need over Christmas.

“It is very important that we as the SBA police are able to help those in need all year round, but it is highlighted more at Christmas time as it is a period of celebration and giving,” she said.

“This places a lot of financial pressure on people and if we can help in any way, then we are so happy to do so”.