The foodbank where stocks are dwindling as demand rises

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Managers of a foodbank in Weston-super-Mare say they are experiencing more people needing their services but a "drastic reduction" in the number of donations.

Around 7,000 people use Weston-super-Mare foodbank each year - a number which has doubled in three years.

Volunteers say in the past 10 years of the site being open, they have never had any issues with getting food in stock until now.

But now they say Covid, the war in Ukraine and the rising cost of living has meant pressures on their service are greater than ever.

The foodbank helps around 7,000 people each year.

"We're receiving less than we're giving out"

Volunteer Frederique Wigmore said: "Since April, we've seen a really drastic reduction in the amount of food donations we're receiving.

"It started with the Ukrainian crisis and also the cost of living and the prices on the shelves going up.

"For the first time in six years since I've been here, we're receiving less than we're giving out and that's something that's reflected across the foodbank network."

To try to keep the shelves topped up, the foodbank is buying food and applying for funding grants.

Volunteers say they have noticed a difference in the groups of people using their service in recent years.

Volunteer Clive Bodley says he's seen a difference in the groups of people using their service in recent years.

Volunteer Clive Bodley said: "A substantial proportion of the people we support are employed, and have employment, but there is a change in the range of people coming to us.

"We're seeing many more older people now needing to receive support from the foodbank and many more families than before."

Councillor Mike Bell, deputy leader of North Somerset Council described the situation as a "perfect storm".

"We're having to send more and more people to foodbanks and directing them to emergency supplies. It's really worrying", he said.

"It's a perfect storm really in terms of everyone under pressure.

"People are less able to make donations, less able to support friends and colleagues and family. It's an extremely worrying situation", he added.