COLCHESTER Foodbank is set to open six days a week to help people who cannot reach them on weekdays.

People in need have said they cannot access the emergency provision because friends who help them get to the foodbank were working.

Colchester Foodbank will now be opening on Saturdays to help manage demand thanks to help from Colchester Borough Homes’ community fund and One Colchester Winter Resilience Fund.

Michael Beckett, manager at the Foodbank, said: “For the last decade, the foodbank has seen a trend of increasing demand and with the ongoing impact of Universal Credit and Brexit we don’t expect this trend to change anytime soon.

“It isn’t right that people, especially children, suffer without food in Colchester or the surrounding area.

“We continue to work with other foodbanks across the country to campaign for long-term change, so hopefully we can reach a future where the foodbank can close through lack of demand.

“Whilst that work is underway, we’ll do all we can to make sure people at risk of hunger get crucial support including opening on Saturdays. We’re fortunate people and organisation are so generous allowing us to do this.”

Colchester Foodbank is the busiest Foodbank in Essex providing three day emergency food supplies to more than 7,000 people in crisis last year.

More than one in three of those fed by Colchester Foodbank are children.

Gareth Mitchell, chief executive of Colchester Borough Homes, said: “I’m extremely pleased the community fund has been able to help organisations as important as Colchester Foodbank.

“They are doing crucial work in the community.”

A spokeswoman from the One Colchester Winter Resilience Funding Panel said: “We are pleased to be able to assist Colchester Foodbank to address the needs of our community members.”