Staff at a food bank have revealed they are preparing for the 'worst winter' since the charity began operating in 2014. 

Manchester’s South Central Foodbank is experiencing extreme demand as people struggle to make ends meet amid the cost of living crisis. 

The charity has three food bank stations, including one at St Bride's Church, Old Trafford.

Michelle McHale, Manchester South Central Foodbank Chair of Trustees, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is having a significant impact, with a 60 per cent increase in demand for our services, winter is looking extremely bleak for many."

Urging the government to provide financial support for those facing poverty, she said: “We know that when government cost of living payments are distributed, we see a slight decrease in numbers accessing our services during the same period. Money directly in people's pockets makes a difference."

The charity is also calling on the government to legislate for a basic income guarantee to enable individuals and families to be able to afford essentials. 

Michelle acknowledges the complexity of poverty and says, whilst bridging the gap provides a number of services to alleviate poverty, "we simply cannot do this in isolation”.

She also says that although the local food banks, covering the areas of Hulme, Moss Side, Whalley Range, and Old Trafford, rely heavily on public donations, demand is so high the organisation is “having to use the little funding we have to purchase in food”.

Nationally, from April to September this year, food banks nationwide gave out  almost 1.5 million emergency parcels, with tens of thousands being first time users, according to charity Trussell Trust.

A substantial total of 1,496,847 food bundles were handed out - 65 per cent going to families with young children.

This is up from 1,292,621 handed out during the same months last year, and less than a million the year before that, back in 2021.

Chief executive of Trussell Trust, Emma Reive, explains how it is “extremely alarming” that “an increasing number of children are growing up in families facing hunger, forced to turn to food banks to survive”.

She worries that it will lead to a "generation growing up believing that it's normal to see a food bank in every community" and recognises, “people in work, as well as people who cannot work, are increasingly being pushed into debt and forced to turn to a food bank to survive."

Trussell Trust, who support more than 1,200 food banks over the country, warn that they "are at breaking point as more and more people in communities across the UK find themselves unable afford the essentials", and are preparing to hand out more than one million parcels this winter.

Along with other charities fighting poverty, Trussell Trust are calling out for an “essentials guarantee” which would see Universal Credit stopping people from “going without the basics”.

Those finding themselves in a hunger crisis can locate their nearest foodbank via