THE number of emergency food parcels handed out by Kidderminster Foodbank is up by nearly 25 per cent on last year.

The Bull Ring food bank has revealed 2,348 food parcels were given to people in Wyre Forest between April 1 and September 30 this year - 962 of which went to children - representing a 24.8 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Kidderminster Foodbank, which is part of the Trussell Trust's network, says the need for emergency food parcels in the UK is now at an all-time high.

The new figures come just a week after the Trussell Trust released State of Hunger, its most in-depth study published into hunger and the drivers of food bank use in the UK.

Findings revealed the average weekly income of people at food banks is only £50 after paying housing costs, and almost one in five have no money coming in at all in the month before being referred for emergency food.

Maureen Lewis, manager of Kidderminster Foodbank, said: "It’s a real concern that in just six months we’ve provided 2,348 emergency supplies to local people.

"These figures don’t take into account our busiest time of year - as the colder weather draws in, we often find even more people needing our help.

“We believe that everyone should have enough money coming in to cover the basics. But right now, more and more people in Wyre Forest are being forced to our food bank’s doors. This isn’t right.

“While our help is needed, we’re dedicated to ensuring that people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support.

"Our vital work in the community has only been possible because of the incredible generosity shown by local people who have donated food, time and funds. Thank you."