'They've never had to do this before' - Concerns as Exeter foodbank users double

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Families are struggling to stretch their food budget over a month Credit: ITV West Country

Exeter Foodbank says it is seeing demand for its service soar. The number of clients asking for support has gone up 100%, compared with the same time last year.

They were very busy in the run up to Christmas, as they expected, but since then demand has kept increasing because of the cost of living crisis.

Exeter Foodbank manager, Mark Richardson said: "Food banks have always been there for emergency and crisis, to help people through a few days when they were stuck, but now we have a very different problem which is an ongoing lack of income.

"Every day at the moment I am getting emails from people saying things like I've never had to do this before, we normally manage, but at this point we just can't manage to get through the four weeks of every month."

Families are increasingly relying on food banks every month Credit: ITV WEST COUNTRY

Volunteer Darren East said: "We have clients coming in who are genuinely quite shocked that they have got to the situation where they have to have extra support.

"It could be young people just starting out in the world and they can't make ends meet or it can be large families who maybe can cope for three weeks out of the month but use us as a bit of an addition."

There are severe health consequences to soaring food prices. Credit: ITV West Country

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of Consumer Prices Index inflation fell to 10.5% in December from 10.7%, but food and drink inflation is still soaring, to 16.8% in December, up from 16.4% in November, marking the highest level since September 1977.