The Lords Larder, our local food bank in Yeovil, publishes stats on how many people it helps each year:
2012 - 42,000 items of food to 1986 adults and 1116 children
2013 - 59,000 items of food to 2570 adults and 1409 children
that's a 25% increase in clients, and a 40% increase in food given. Yeovil itself has a population of 45,000 - I think the parcels go further afield than just Yeovil, otherwise we have 10% of the population who are needing food parcels. Bear in mind also that this is the 2013 figure, it would be no surprise if the 2014 figure was even worse. And that's before we've looked at what's coming next.
It's been encouraging to see Yeovil College get involved in supporting them recently, with regular collections of food, and a cash collection at next Thursdays Carol Service. What's more sobering is to think that there are probably lots of college students who are receivers, as well as givers.
Update: major new report coming out on all this Monday, which the Archbishop of Canterbury has thrown his weight behind. Sounds like it will be calling for more food banks, turning Make Lunch into an official part of the welfare state, and getting more 'waste' food used rather than binned.
update 2, and here it is, Feeding Britain