Widnes Foodbank handed out more than 1,200 emergency food parcels to people in crisis in the town last year.

Between April 2020 and March 2021, the foodbank provided support to anyone in need as the Covid-19 pandemic impacted people’s lives.

There were 1,264 emergency food parcels given out, which is slightly lower than the previous 12 months but the charity believes the larger aide parcels were created to last longer so that customers didn’t require a second referral.

The figures don’t include the number of people helped by new community organisations independent foodbanks or the local authority, who have all been working during the pandemic.

Vicky Ferguson, project co-ordinator of Widness Foodbank , said: “It simply isn’t right that people in Widnes are struggling to put food on the table and have been forced to our doors.

“The pandemic has impacted huge numbers of people and we know our figures are just the tip of the iceberg as new community organisations, independent food banks and local authorities, have been working during the pandemic to support our community.

“We’re always blown away by the amount of support and generosity local people show in supporting our work – and during this difficult year, our vital work has only been possible because of that incredible support.

“Thank you so much. While our help continues to be needed, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people without enough money for food are able to access emergency support.

“But ultimately, we don’t think it’s right that any of us are forced to turn to any charity for emergency food.”

The foodbank is part of the Trussell Trust network which reports record levels in the past 12 months with more than 2.5million emergency food parcels given to people struggling to afford essentials between April 2020 and March 2021, with around 980,000 of them going to children.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, said: “No one should face the indignity of needing emergency food yet our network of food banks has given out record numbers of food parcels as more and more people struggle without enough money for the essentials.

“This is not right but we know we can build a better future.

“This pandemic has shown that the unexpected can hit suddenly, but we know when we push for change, united by our desire for justice and compassion, the government has to listen and act.

“We are asking people to write to their local election candidates for a commitment to working to end the need for food banks so that together we can take action now to build a hunger free future.”