MORE and more families in Devizes are depending on handouts from the town's foodbank which itself is in need of financial help.

The organisations annual meeting next week will be told that in the past year 1,396 emergency food supplies designed to last three days each were handed out compared with 1,121 the previous year.

Last year 568 needy children were among those who received food parcels,

Liz Starling project manager of Devizes Foodbank said: "We don’t want to be here forever. No one in Devizes and the surrounding area should need a foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to local people needing emergency food at all.

"It doesn’t have to be this way - with a benefits system that catches people before they fall into crisis, and secure work that provides people with enough money to cover the cost of essentials, this is possible.

"But until that time, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most - we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community with no money for food are able to access emergency support, and that has only been possible in the last year because of the incredible generosity shown by local people in donating food, time and funds."

The foodbank is a member of The Trussell Trust’s network which has reported a UK-wide increase foodbank use. It believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments, issues with Universal Credit in the area, insecure work, closure of local charities offering crisis support and a lack or reduction in available local government support.

The running costs for the foodbank are around £15,000 a year, all of which is raised locally to enable it to continue its work. More information will be given at the annual meeting to be held on Tuesday, May 22 at 7pm at Devizes Library.