FARNWORTH and Kearsley Foodbank provided 1,911 three-day emergency supplies to local people between April 1 and September 30 this year. Of this number, 780 went to children.

The foodbank, a member of The Trussell Trust’s network, has reported a UK-wide increase in foodbank use. These figures are an 8.5% increase on the same period last year.

A total of 13 tonnes of food was donated by the local community in that six-month period.

They are concerned that its help will be needed even more in the next six months due to the colder weather drawing in.

SPECIAL REPORT: Bolton food banks braced for Universal Credit 'fallout'

READ MORE: What does Universal Credit mean for Bolton?

Farnworth and Kearsley Foodbank manager Alex Malone said: “It’s a real concern that in only six months, we have provided 1,911 emergency supplies to local people. It’s not right that anyone in Bolton is being forced to turn to our foodbank.

“We’re determined to make sure that emergency help is here for people, but there needs to be some long-term change because we don’t want to be here forever.”

The charity believes the local increase is due to people struggling with continued issues with benefit payments and people in insecure work.

Farnworth and Kearsley Foodbank has been providing three-day emergency food and support to local people since November 2012.

Aside from Farnworth Baptist Church in Trafford Street which is open four days a week, there are also food banks one day a week at Our Lady of Lourdes in Plodder Lane as well as Wharton and Cleggs Lane Church in Little Hulton.

Food is available for anyone with a voucher which can be issued by various organisations such as the job centre, health centres or Citizens Advice.

Users are limited to no more than three visits to the food bank in a six-month period but this can be exceeded at the request of social services.

The Rev John Bradbury described the food bank as a “third party” bridging the gap between neighbours who would have once knocked on each other's doors for a cup of sugar.

He said: “If we’ve all got something and we all share something then we can get everybody through this. It never ceases to amaze me, the generosity of people.”

The charity has asked for festive donations to be donated in early December at the latest to ensure that volunteers have enough time to process and distribute these donations to people before Christmas.

The foodbank is particularly in need of tinned meats, tinned fruits, long life fruit juices and UHT Milk.