A FOODBANK in Worcester is at breaking point after a decline in donations because of coronavirus – and the boss says it's a matter of "life and death" for some users.

Worcester Foodbank, which provides emergency food to people living in crisis situations across the city, has seen a drop in donations because people are ‘panic buying’ food and keeping stocked up in their homes.

Grahame Lucas, manager of Worcester Foodbank in Lowesmoor Wharf, said: “This week, we’ve seen a massive drop in food donations.

“The people we work with cannot stockpile and need food on a daily basis to tackle food poverty, living hand to mouth.

“Please, don’t forget to keep donating - this is life and death.

“We rely heavily on regular donations of not just food but hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes and we need this not only for the foodbank users but to keep our staff safe so we can keep the process running.

“Potatoes and hand sanitizer and others items are moving fast - we probably have only two days worth left of these items.

“Things like pasta and baked beans, we would have enough to last a year, ironically, as I know there’s a national shortage of pasta.

“Clearly, it’s important for everyone to eat well for a functioning immune system.

“We’ve had to deliver to quite a few people as they are unable to leave their houses.”

A record number of people were forced to rely on Worcester Foodbank to avoid going hungry over Christmas.

The charity ended the year by feeding 1,150 clients during December – the most referrals it has handled during a single month since opening its doors in 2012.

Many of those referred to food bank continue to be hampered by lengthy delays in the payment of Universal Credit or other difficulties caused by the benefits system. Low income or unstable hours of employment make it impossible for some clients to cover the cost of essentials including food, rent and heating.

Worcester Foodbank – and other foodbanks that form part of the Trussell Trust – are continuing to press the government to end the five-week wait for the first payment of Universal Credit and ensure everyone has enough income to afford the basics we all need to live.

The Trussell Trust runs the largest network of foodbanks in the UK. To donate, visit : https://bit.ly/3b3FSGn.