More than 1,200 people were fed by Worcester Foodbank in the run up to Christmas as the charity dealt with a record number of referrals during December.
Volunteers also provided over 400 toyshop gift cards and 67 toys to struggling families that were unable to afford presents for their children during the busiest month since the charity opened its doors in June 2012.
Demand for emergency food has been steadily rising during the pandemic as the economic impact of Covid-19 leaves more people unemployed and unable to afford essentials like food, rent and heating.
But an outpouring of generous donations and fund-raising from the community has meant foodbank has been able to keep up with demand and retain healthy stock levels despite the unprecedented pressure.
Grahame Lucas, Manager of Worcester Foodbank, said: “It’s been a desperately difficult year for so many people and that’s reflected in the lengthy queues of clients we’ve seen outside our warehouse. Sadly I fear things will continue to get worse before they get better.”
“The one bright spot has been the amazing generosity we’ve witnessed from local people which has lifted our spirits and fed our enthusiasm to keep persevering.”
As well as being swamped with donations of food the charity also received a staggering response to its campaign to ensure the hundreds of children it fed over Christmas did not wake up to an empty stocking.
Enough money was raised for foodbank to spend more than £6,000 on toy shop gift cards that were handed to struggling parents to buy a present worth £15 for their child.