The shocking new figures revealed today by the Telegraph & Argus showing a dramatic upsurge in the demand for food parcels are a stark reminder of the human cost of the recession.

We are constantly bombarded by figures showing the numbers of people who are unemployed or the latest companies to collapse.

But the rocketing numbers of people who are turning to the Salvation Army and other organisations really brings home the impact of the current economic climate far more directly.

Few would argue that cuts need to be made in some form and everyone needs to cut their cloth accordingly. But those families and individuals who are driven to go to food banks must have reached rock bottom.

It is difficult for most of us to imagine real hunger nowadays, but for these breadline families, this is now part of their daily existence.

And the large increase in demand is starting to put pressure on the supply, with Bradford Food Bank, which expected to help 300 people in its first year but ended up supporting more than three times that amount, struggling to get enough food.

Project manager Gareth Jones says they are not turning people away, but are constantly having to ask for more donations. That is something the majority of us can help with.

Even for those of us who do not consider ourselves to be wealthy, a couple of tins of food or some other form of small donation once a week is not going to have too much of an impact.

But it could help to make a dramatic difference to the lives of the individuals and families who are, incredibly, in a British city in 2012, relying on food parcels.