Foodbanks across Staffordshire are preparing for increased demand during the winter months.
Statistics revealed by Leek and District Foodbank show the amount of food they distributed increased by 58% during December last year.
This follows an increase of 92% from November to December 2015, when servings almost doubled from 84 to 162.
Liz Green, chair of trustees at Leek and District Foodbank, said: “We have around 55 referral agents, including places like schools and mental health teams, that deal with people and discern any needs for food that they may have.
“If a person is in desperate need of food they need to go to an agency who will issue a food voucher which they bring in to us, and we tend to get more people coming to us during the colder months.
“I think the reason foodbanks work is because when people give a tin of meat, or beans for example, they are giving something tangible.
“They can see that somebody, somewhere who needs that food is going to be receiving the gift that they have given.”
The Leek Foodbank is part of the Trussel Trust group that manages food banks across the country.
Mrs Green added: “Trussel trust are a national umbrella organisation, and all of the data including weights of food and the number of clients are recorded on a national database.”
Mark Ward, Interim Chief Executive at The Trussell Trust, said: “Our network is working hard to stop people going hungry but the simple truth is that even with the enormous generosity of our donors and volunteers, we’re concerned foodbanks could struggle to meet demand this winter if critical changes to benefit delivery aren’t made now.
“People cannot be left for weeks without any income, and when that income does come, it must keep pace with living costs – foodbanks cannot be relied upon to pick up the pieces.”
10,330 sets of three-day emergency food supplies were given out by Stoke-on-Trent food banks during 2016-17, 3,913 of which went to children.
Stoke-on-Trent residents donated 99 tonnes of food from 1st April to 2016 to 31st March 2017.
The Trussel Group have 14 banks locally in areas including Stoke, Hanley, Longton, Tunstall and Fenton.
Watch our video report at Leek Foodbank, below: