A FOODBANK boss says he is looking for additional space amid fears the current lifeline centres could become overwhelmed by demand.

There are already ten foodbanks across Colchester but Michael Beckett believes the demand they are set to receive in winter could put them on the brink.

Mr Beckett says people will have to choose between “heat and eat” this winter as the toughest effects of the cost of living crisis will hit.

He revealed Colchester Foodbank, in Tollgate Retail Park, has run out of toilet roll, multiple sizes of nappies and is critically low in stocks of deodorant, washing up liquid and toothbrushes.

“Demand is up slightly and our services are being used slightly more than the supplies we’ve got coming in,” said Mr Beckett.

“We are concerned this trend is likely to accelerate going forward with the cost of living crisis. Energy prices are rising and in October they are set to rise again.

Gazette: Supplies - Michael BeckettSupplies - Michael Beckett

“We had our busiest year ever with a massive surge in 2020 and demand continued to rise in 2021 and in 2022 it hasn’t shown any sign of slacking.

“I feel like a frog in the frying pan – the temperature is going up and up and we are getting more worried about what’s happening.”

Foodbank leaders are now desperately appealing for items such as long life juice and milk, tinned custard, rice puddings and potatoes.

Other hygiene supplies washing powder, deodorant, toilet paper and nappies are also items of concern.

Mr Beckett added: “In the summer when you have a choice between heat and eat you can choose eat, but in the winter either could kill you.

“We know things are likely to get busier for the foodbank and therefore we are looking at options including additional space. We think it may be needed going forward.

“I’d rather get ready now while things aren’t as busy as they will be in the winter, I know it’s going to be a tough period for the foodbank.

“I am determined but that’s my personality, I don’t give up and I will fight this.”