Suffolk foodbanks have witnessed a sharp rise in the number of users since the cost of living crisis began.

Last month, The Trussell Trust's Waveney Foodbank provided support to 1,016 clients - more than triple the 309 it saw pre-pandemic in June 2019.

This is also an increase of 369 from the same time last year.

According to data collected by the FareShare Scheme, there has been a 238% increase in the amount of food being given to families across Suffolk in the last 12 months.

Families in Need (FIND), an Ipswich-based foodbank which offers free food parcels and other essentials to people in need, has also seen a similar trend.

"We're seeing very high numbers at the moment", said FIND founder, Maureen Reynel.

"They've been on the increase since the cost of living has began to rise.

"The numbers of food parcels going out, alongside vouchers for fuel and other household items, are on a real upsurge.

"Day after day people's needs are increasing."

The news comes after a Sunday Times report found there were now more food banks across the UK than McDonald's restaurants.

Suffolk County Council currently lists 34 foodbanks currently accepting self-referrals.

Stuart Keeble, Suffolk County Council's director of public health and communities, said: “A lot of additional support was implemented to assist those in financial hardship during the Covid-19 pandemic. With the current cost of living pressures, it is important that we continue to ensure that Suffolk residents can receive the right help should they hit crisis.

“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic we have been supporting the FareShare initiative to ensure foodbanks and other services such as pop-up shops, community pantries and food parcels have access to sufficient fresh food. The scheme has so far delivered more than 328,000 kgs of fresh food in Suffolk.

“Through the council’s Tackling Poverty Action Plan, we are continuing to work with partners across the county to deliver a range of measures to tackle food insecurity, including supporting more people to access Healthy Start vouchers which help parents of children under four access healthy food and milk, and funding the Holiday Activity and Food Programme which provides free holiday clubs for children who are entitled to free school meals.

“A range of support is available in Suffolk for those experiencing financial pressure – The Suffolk Advice and Support Service (SASS) provides debt and money advice and the Local Welfare Assistance Scheme can support people to access household furniture and white goods, fuel vouchers, supermarket vouchers, and contributions towards increasing costs during the winter months. If you or someone you know is struggling, please get in touch.

"The Holiday Activity and Food programme is available this summer for parents to sign up to. If your child is in receipt of Free School Meals, speak to your school to find out more."