A RECORD number of people were given emergency food parcels in the run-up to Christmas with more than 2,600 adults and children relying on support.

Worcester Foodbank ended a challenging year by feeding 2,605 people during December – marking the busiest month for foodbank since it opened its doors in 2012.

Foodbank has had to bolster its team of volunteers to cope with an almost relentless surge in referrals this year, as more households across the city find themselves unable to afford the cost of essentials from rent and energy to food and water bills.

Despite the unwavering support of the local community, the charity is also spending around £5,000 a week to boost stock levels at its Lowesmoor warehouse as it tries to keep pace with demand.

Grahame Lucas, manager of Worcester Foodbank, said: “It has been an exhausting year for our amazing team but we continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of the community. They have refused to turn their back on the record number of people threatened with hunger and that gives us some hope.”

“It's not fair, right or sustainable that so many people are being forced to rely on emergency food to avoid going hungry. Everyone should be provided with enough income to cover the cost of essentials so that foodbanks like ours are no longer needed."

"As we enter an election year our challenge to those wanting to be elected to parliament is ‘are you prepared to make tackling poverty a priority and do what you can to ensure everyone can afford the basics?’”

Worcester Foodbank is currently appealing for tins of baked beans having run out of supplies. 

For a list of places taking donations of food and toiletries, visit worcester.foodbank.org.uk.