THERE were more than 4000 emergency food parcels provided to Sedgemoor residents in the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic.

New figures by the Trussell Trust, reveal that 4,580 parcels were delivered between April and September 2020, compared with 3,582 delivered in the same period in 2019.

This is an increase of more than 1000 parcels.

Highbridge Area Foodbank have said they have noticed a 50 per cent increase in referrals this year.

Maxine Bashford, trustee for Highbridge Area Foodbank, said: “Highbridge Area Foodbank continues to be very well supported by our local community for which we are extremely grateful.

“Referrals to our Foodbank this year are 50% up on 2019 including during this period of lockdown. We expect to continue to see an increase in demand for support in the lead up to Christmas.”

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Volunteers at the Highbridge Area FoodbankVolunteers at the Highbridge Area Foodbank

Highbridge Area Foodbank are well-stocked with food parcel core items, such as pasta, beans, soups, cereals and so on.

At the moment, they are running low on small jars of coffee, fruit juice and squash, jams and custard, as well as toilet rolls and toiletries.

“We continue to operate with a skeleton team of volunteers to ensure social distancing without which we wouldn't be able to maintain our service,” she added.

“People needing referral for emergency food support should contact their existing support agency or the village agents team, citizens advice, schools, doctors, health visitor, or homes in Sedgemoor.”

The food bank is part of the Trussell Trust’s network, which has recently reported more than 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people struggling to afford essentials between April 1 and September 30 2020, making it the busiest ever half-year period for food banks.

More than 470,000 of these parcels went to children, and 1,606 of these were in Sedgemoor.

Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, added: “Throughout 2020, communities across the country have stepped in to provide vital support to people left without enough money.

“Volunteers in food banks have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure support is there for people struggling to afford essentials. But it’s not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food, at any time of year.”

The Trussell Trust is asking anyone who wants to “end the injustice of people needing food banks” to join the campaign by visiting