Dedicated volunteers have collected more than 2,700kg of food in order to provide emergency food parcels to help people in and around Truro this winter.

But Truro Foodbank says if more is not done to help those in poverty, thousands more will be struggling by the end of the year.

The Foodbank held a special three-day collection at the Garras Wharf Tesco which resulted in hundreds of donations of food and money.

Foodbank manager Simon Fann said: “We were blessed by having our volunteers from stores and distribution teams and also from companies like Nationwide and Francis Clark accountants.

“Thank you to everyone who came along to help, either by greeting and talking to shoppers or by collecting and packing the donated food in the car park. 

“These roles can be challenging - some people do not want to engage at all, which can be disheartening, and outside it was very cold.

“It was a humbling experience because of the some of the discussions we had with people who came over. “Some of them were previous customers of the foodbank who said how much they appreciated us in times of need; they wanted to let us know they were ok and to donate something for others.

“Others said they realised they needed the foodbank and had to take the courageous step of coming to find out how they could receive help.

“The collection was an amazing display of generosity and the three days has generated 2,727 kilos of food, which equates to more than 1,600 meals, as well as more than £2,700 in financial donations.”

Simon said every week his team helps dozens of people by distributing food but, while the it is fulfilling to know people are being helped, it is not a success story to have to give out more and more food.

He said: “The causes need to be resolved. In the financial year 2018/2019 Truro Foodbank received and gave out 35 tonnes of food and fed 2,300 people. 

“From the eight months from April 1 this year to the end of November, we gave out 47.5 tonnes of food and fed 3,380 people.

“If the next four months stay the same, we will give out more than 71 tonnes of food and feed more than 5,000 people.

“If this was a normal business these new record figures and massive increase in turnover and customers would be a reason to celebrate. But we are not a normal business. 

“This increase in demand is a worry and a serious concern, especially because this demand is growing and growing.

“We are extremely grateful to organisations like Tesco and Waldons/T.Clarke for their support. We still have to buy some food and pay for increased running costs but without the amazing increased giving by local people in supermarket donation bins and these examples of local firms we could not keep pace with the increased demand.” 

Earlier this year Simon called for united action with an initiative entitled Voices within Poverty.

He gathered people from various walks of life – including charities and businesses – for a meeting to discuss what everyone can do and the effects of poverty on individuals and families.

Simon said: “We need political, business and social communities to collaborate to address the causes of poverty in Cornwall.

“We must look at new initiatives and rule nothing out. We have to move from entrenched positions because current practices are not working.

“Alongside the food crisis are issues connected with mental health and physical health and as well as food we have advisors at our distribution sessions to try to help people out of poverty. 

“It is essential people get good advice as well as food. So many people are not claiming benefits or in work entitlements.

“Our plea to customers is: please do not leave it too late to seek help with food or advice.”