Volunteers at Largs Food Bank have handed out more than 1,000 parcels this year, more than three times the support that was needed in 2018.

The vital service in the town’s Clark Memorial Church has seen a rise in demand in the last few months and has hit the unfortunate milestone with two months of the year remaining.

Staff at the food bank distributed 325 parcels to locals in need in 2018, and 650 parcels last year, before a huge increase during the pandemic.

Volunteer Simon Dell says the food bank has been a vital service for the town since lockdown began, but he is now concerned about a steady rise in the numbers needing further help.

He said: “We are proud that we have been able to keep going throughout the pandemic when some foodbanks closed down.

“We have also been able to scale up our operations to cope with a 300 per cent increase in demand in two years.

“On the opposite side, we are concerned by the increase in numbers as we don't see ourselves as a permanent solution.

“We want to work to a point where the foodbank is no longer needed but unfortunately the demand just keeps increasing year on year.”

Simon says the support from residents and local organisations has been fantastic, and that will needs to continue into the winter.

He said: “We have been seeing a steady rise in demand since the summer after demand slowed down a bit when lockdown was lifted.

“However, the numbers are climbing again towards the sort of numbers we saw at the peak of the lockdown in April.

“At the moment we are seeing between 25 and 30 requests a week for help, and we are feeding approximately 50 to 60 people.

“The support from the local community continues to be vital and whilst we received some emergency funding during lockdown, we are now using that up to purchase items in demand.

“We will then fall back heavily on local donations to see us through, people can donate at various points around town such as Morrisons, Co-op, Poundbasket and Tesco.”

Simon has paid tribute to the food bank’s hard-working volunteers for looking out for the area’s most vulnerable during the pandemic.

He said: “It should be noted that we are all volunteers including those of us on the committee, and nobody takes any payment for helping out at the foodbank.

“Our volunteers have been amazing, we have lost very few during lockdown and we have had a number of people stepping forward to volunteer in recent weeks.

“It has been quite a strain on our volunteers to continue to operate throughout the pandemic and they have all been brilliant.”

More information on the food bank and what items are in need can be found on the ‘Largs Food Bank’ Facebook page.