The stark reality faced by those struggling on the breadline has been revealed as a Bradford foodbank revealed handouts have more than doubled in 12 months.
Since April last year to now, the Trussell Trust foodbank has given food parcels to 2,412 people, which equates to more than 21,700 meals for those in crisis and compares to the 1,120 people helped the year before.
Up to half of those fed were children and a fifth were single parents.
Bradford’s Metropolitan Foodbank has also revealed an unprecedented demand with 566 parcels given out last month, the highest ever, compared to just 100 being given out each month in 2010.
Meanwhile, Churches Together in Otley could be setting up a foodbank. A public meeting has been called at Salvation Army Hall on Newmarket at 7.30pm on Monday to see if such a facility is needed to help local people in financial difficulty.
The Trussell Trust said there has been a rise of 170 per cent in the number of people using foodbanks across the UK and they are setting up three every week.
Its Bradford outlet has been giving out 2.5 tonnes of food every month since January.
Foodbank project manager Ben Haldane said: “We are seeing more and more people through our doors every month.
“People come to us in all sorts of situations; some who find themselves in unexpected circumstances, perhaps due to redundancy or debt, while others we help to move on to a new life away from circumstances like homelessness, abuse and human trafficking.
“While we are saddened by the need for us to exist we are also pleased that we can help and the rising numbers not only show the negative that more people are in need, but also the positive that we are helping more people that would otherwise have gone hungry.
“We are very grateful to all the local people who support us, particularly with the food we are given. If it wasn’t for the huge response we had to our harvest appeal we would not have been able to meet the need over the past six months.”
Ken Leach, co-ordinator for Bradford Metropolitan Foodbank, said: “We have given out 500 food parcels this month already and we still have days left to go.
“Stocks are running low and demand is rocketing. I have drawn a graph and it is 45 degrees!”
Otley Town Council leader Councillor John Eveleigh (Lab, Ashfield) said it was “an absolute scandal” that anyone should be worrying about food, but was certain an Otley food bank would help alleviate suffering.
He said: “I welcome this initiative from the town’s churches, and the town council will want to do all it can to support a local food bank.”
Skipton Food Bank, which was set up by a group at Skipton Baptist Church, has gone from strength to strength since first giving out Christmas hampers to needy people in 2010.
Last year, the church provided more than 100 hampers at a rate of one or two a week, but the demand has increased and it now provides six to eight hampers per week.