A FOODBANK has handed out more than 4,000 food parcels to adults in need in the past year.

Colchester Foodbank has released its figures for the period from April last year to March this year.

They provided three-day emergency food parcels to 2,804 children and 4,633 adults between that time.

Colchester Foodbank is backing calls from the Trussell Trust to ensure the benefits system is able to protect people from poverty.

The figures from Colchester Foodbank show a 13.6 per cent increase on the same period last year.

The charity believes the increase is due to people struggling with issues with Universal Credit - such as the five-week wait for benefits, and insecure work.

Reverend Andrew Fordyce, chair of Colchester Foodbank said: “No one should need a foodbank’s help and we want to see an end to people needing emergency food at all.

“It doesn’t have to be this way - our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty.

“Universal Credit should be part of the solution but currently the five week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics. This isn’t right.

“Until we reach a future where foodbanks are no longer needed, we’ll continue to provide vital support when it matters most.

“We’re dedicated to ensuring people in our community without enough money for food are able to access emergency support. Our vital work has only been possible because of the incredible generosity shown by people in donating food, time and funds.”

The foodbank welcomes any offers of help with funding, visit colchester.foodbank.org.uk/give-help.