Hard-up families in the Midlands relying on food banks

File picture of a food bank
File picture of a food bank Photo: PA

For many, Christmas may be a time of fine food and over-indulgence, but increasingly hard-up families in the Midlands are relying on handouts to feed hungry mouths.

Food banks are springing up across the region - today the latest opened its doors in a church near Nottingham.

The centre at Daybrook Baptist Church is the first to open in theborough of Gedling.

Volunteers have been collecting donations for three months.

Already they've amassed three tonnes. Gedling - which covers several towns and villages to the north of Nottingham - is traditionally thought of as a relatively affluent area, with below average unemployment and above average earnings.

But there are pockets of deprivation and, according to the local council, 44% of the population fall within the most deprived 25% of the population nationally.

Today the Mayor of Gedling, Cllr Sandra Barnes, helped volunteers sorting donations at the new food bank.

"It's sad to see that there'sa need for this centre in Gedling," she said, "but it's a sign of thetimes".

Local agencies such as housing associations and job centres will assess whether people are eligible to use the food bank.

They'll be given vouchers to exchange for food. The organisers say the centre will stay open as long as it's needed.