SHOCKING figures show that almost almost 2,000 Redditch residents had to rely on Redditch Foodbank last year - nearly 500 of them children.

The statistics mirror the national scene where numbers are rising all over the country, and more and more schools are being forced to set up food banks to help feed their pupils' families.

The last year also saw more people than ever donate to the Redditch Foodbank.

Christmas, an especially busy time for the food bank, saw thousands of people donate items - so much that it was was full.

However, Laura Kyte, from Redditch Foodbank, said the demand is not just at Christmas but throughout the entire year.

She said the demand is now 'relentless' with more people than ever using the food bank.

"We had seen a steady increase in numbers using the food bank but from 2018, there has been a sharp upward turn and particularly since mid-2018, the demand has been very high," she said.

"During the month of December in 2018 we fulfilled 105 vouchers which represented 188 people (127 adults and 61 children).

"December 2019 we fulfilled 104 vouchers but this represented 205 people (149 adults and 64 children). If my calculations are correct, this is a nine per cent increase."

She added: "Another figure for comparison is that we fulfilled 987 vouchers between April 1 and November 30 2019, which represents 1,825 'people fed' (or visits to the foodbank); 1,340 were adults and 485 were children.

"The 2018 figures for the same period were 805 vouchers fulfilled, representing 1,419 people, 1,059 adults and 360 children.

"That's a 22.6 per cent increase in vouchers fulfilled and a 28.6 per cent increase in people."

On the recent appeal success around Christmas Laura said a massive thanks should go to the generosity of people in Redditch.

She said they don't have exact figures yet for donations during the Christmas period but they were the biggest yet.

"We think it was the biggest total of weight in donations that we have seen," she said.

"Again, we are so grateful to the Oaklands Foundation in Beoley for providing us with a space to store so much generosity."

For more on the foodbank, how to donate, and a list of most needed items, visit