MORE families than ever are seeking help when it comes to feeding themselves, it has been revealed.

Redditch's first official food bank and distribution network has seen referrals steadily increase since it was officially launched in June last year.

And since September, the food bank has so far received 630 requests for assistance, feeding 732 adults and 292 Children.

Supported by local charity The Oakland Foundation, the food bank provides access to an emergency supply of goods for those in need in Redditch.

Hayley Smith, from Oakland Foundation, said: "The Oakland Foundation is aimed at providing long-term support for real issues of hardship that exist in Redditch and Bromsgrove - by dealing with child poverty through health, nutrition, sport and education initiatives.

"Charity starts at home and we are determined that we will continue to make a real difference locally."

The food bank, based at Oakland International's distribution hub in Beoley, coordinates collections of goods from donors and provides a central point for storage and picking activities, and for the administration of the programme.

It works closely with referral agencies to support people to try to resolve a range of issues across the borough.

As well as food the food Bank, unlike many other food banks across the UK, also supplies people with toiletries, clothes, bedding and even sleeping bags supplied by The Oasis Charity Shops.