DEVIZES and District Foodbank provided 102 emergency food parcels in April with 57 going to children.

The figures are a 50% increase on the same period last year and a plea has gone out for more support and donations.

The Foodbank believes the local increase is due to people struggling with low income, from benefits or loss of work due to coronavirus, continued issues with benefit payments and waiting for Universal Credit, insecure work and the temporary closure of local charities offering crisis support.

The food bank relies on the support of people across Devizes, Marlborough and Pewsey and the surrounding area and it is asking for food and fund to be donated..

It says it is particularly in need of tinned ham, packs of chocolate bars, long life sponge puddings, tinned custard, toothpaste, shower gel and laundry products. These can be placed in the permanent collection points at the supermarkets.

Liz Starling, Project Manager of Devizes and District Foodbank said:

“We’re dedicated to ensuring that people in Devizes, Marlborough and Pewsey without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. We’ve been making big changes to our work to ensure we can continue to offer people who can’t afford essentials the emergency help that is needed as safely as possible. But ultimately, no one in Devizes, Marlborough and Pewsey should need to use a food bank. 102 emergency food parcels to local people is 102 emergency food parcels too many. This isn’t right and cannot continue.

“Our vital work in the community has only been possible in the last few months because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds. To everyone that has donated - thank you.”

Devizes and District Foodbank is a member of the Trussell Trust’s network which is calling for the UK government to put a Coronavirus Emergency Income Support Scheme in place to ensure people can access the support they need to avoid them being swept into destitution.

Chief executive of the Trussell Trust Emma Revie said: “People need to be able to put food on their table. The government must put urgent support in place to ensure people already struggling to keep their heads above water can stay afloat.”