ALMOST 2,500 families in crisis received food handouts in Runcorn during the past 12 months, a rise of 501 on the previous year.
The town’s foodbank distributed 2,412 three day emergency food supplies, latest figures have confirmed.
This included 920 parcels for children in need.
The top three reasons people couldn’t afford to buy food were benefit delays, benefit changes and low income.
Colin Keiley, Runcorn and District Foodbank manager, said:“We are still seeing an increase in the number of three-day emergency food supplies provided to people in crisis.
“It is all too easy when you look at figures to forget the real people behind the statistics. That’s why the foodbank is so vital.”
Over the past year people have donated 18 tonnes of food to the foodbank in Runcorn and more than 100 volunteered to help sort out and distribute the supplies.
“We are very grateful for the ongoing support of the community, and hope that one day there will be no need for us in our area,” added Mr Keiley.
“But until that day comes we will continue to offer the best possible service to help people facing a crisis.”
As well as distributing emergency food, the foodbank also provides essentials like toiletries, books and personal hygiene products to families who are struggling, as well as signposting them to other services in the area.
David McAuley, chief executive of The Trussell Trust, which supports the national network of foodbanks, said: “These figures prove that the numbers of people hitting a crisis where they cannot afford food are still too high.
“One million three day food supplies given out by our foodbanks every year is one million too many.
“I’m calling on Government, the voluntary sector, businesses and communities to work together to tackle hunger and poverty in the UK.
“This has to be a society-wide effort.”
Around £6,000 needs to be raised to run the foodbank each year.
Costs include warehouse space, to sort and stock donated food, an office to meet and administer the charity and other overheads like utilities and insurances.
Asda in Runcorn donated £200 after shoppers selected the foodbank as the winner of its green token scheme.
Any businesses, organisations and individuals interested in supporting the foodbank’s work can find out more at runcorndistrict.foodbank.org.uk.