A FOOD bank needs a gargantuan 70,000 items in 2014 to support Burton’s neediest, the Mail can reveal.
The town’s Salvation Army said the items are needed to fill 1,500 emergency food parcels it thinks it will have delivered by the end of the year.
The charity’s hard-pressed emergency food operation in Mosley Street has ballooned since 2011.
Major Jane Morris, who takes a lead role with the church, said: “We always feel we are coping with demand in terms of donations, finance and manpower, but only just.
“We want to ensure that nobody in our community goes hungry so that’s what we are trying to do.
“But let’s just say it’s very demanding work because it has mushroomed in the last couple of years beyond our expectations.”
Latest figures from the charity continue to paint a grim picture of hunger and desperation across East Staffordshire, though the number of handouts in April fell to 78 from 109 in March.
But Vic Wileman, of the Salvation Army, said this was due to referral agencies taking their Easter Holidays, which also led to more children needing help.
He said: “As expected the ratio of children is higher.
“During school holidays, children are not able to receive free school meals, which places more pressure on the family budget.”
Burton’s Salvation Army still helped 198 people, including 83 children, last month – which marks a 200 per cent rise from April 2013.
The charity has donation points in Burton at Sainsbury’s, in Union Street, Morrisons, in Wellington Road, Winshill Community Centre, in Canterbury Road, and Mecca Bingo, in Middleway Park.