MORE than 2,000 people have been given an emergency food parcel in mid Cheshire in the past 12 months.

The Mid Cheshire Foodbank, part of the Trussell Trust’s national network of foodbanks, has revealed that 50 per cent of its 2,086 referrals were the result of benefit delays or changes.

Low income caused 16 per cent of people to apply for help and debt caused 10 per cent of cases to be referred.

Michael Forman, chairman of Mid Cheshire Foodbank, said: “We’re seeing growing numbers turning to Mid Cheshire Foodbank for help, which shouldn’t be happening in the seventh richest country in the world.

“But the reality is that life is very difficult for people on low incomes at the moment, and increasing numbers are struggling to make ends meet and are hitting a crisis where they cannot afford food.

“We don’t think anyone should have to go hungry, which is why we’re so grateful for the incredible generosity of local people in donating food, funds and time to stop local hunger.”

Last year mid Cheshire residents donated more than 22 tonnes of food to Mid Cheshire Foodbank, and more than 160 people volunteered to help.

As well as providing three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food, Mid Cheshire Foodbank provides essentials like nappies and hygiene products to families who are at breaking point, as well as signposting them to other services in the local area.