The lockdown has led to a surge in demand for the Food Bank.

Thirty extra families in need received food parcels from the charity in the first week of the circuit breaker - and this rose to 42 in the second week.

The Food Bank provided 375 food parcels a month on average from April to December last year.

At the height of the last lockdown in April it distributed 696 parcels and ended the year providing 538 in December.

Food Bank director Neal Mellon believes 622 food parcels will have been delivered by the end of this month - and says there is the potential for the total annual figure to have hit 5,122 by the end of the financial year.

These figures don’t include the food delivered to Graih, the Salvation Army, St Christopher’s and Isle of Play.

’These are phenomenal figures and from right across the island,’ said Neal.

It’s certainly a far cry from the charity’s early days.

Launched in November 2013, it provided 150 food parcels in the first year.

That figure grew year on year, rising to 300, then 550 and then more than 1,000.

Neal said that at the start of the second lockdown, the charity had worked closely with the youth service and Isle of Play to identify cases of children in need.

In the first week of the circuit breaker they found 30 new families that needed help and this figure rose to 42 the following week.

This week that number has dropped by half and demand will fall off further once the lockdown ends and the children go back to school.

Neal said the charity will continue to provide support where it’s needed. ’There is no reason for any child to be hungry or cold,’ he said.

Neal said he was not surprised at the numbers needing help during lockdown two.

’We had the experience of the first lockdown,’ he explained.

’From September particularly, more people were ringing us and their story was different.

’Their savings had gone and they didn’t know what to do. They were employed but now on reduced income. Nobody could bounce back any more.’

Neal said he was ’really pleased’ at how successful working with different groups had been in checking on children in need. ’We are adaptable, flexible and creative,’ he said.

Parcels are designed around the client and so for example, cater for food allergies.

Thanks to the generosity of the public, business and organisations, the Food Bank has no pressing need for urgent donations of food or money - although they are always welcome.

Neal said: ’People were very generous during the last lockdown in particular, we had a lot of support.

’We are okay and we’re glad to be in a position to be able to manage to get these parcels out.’

If people do want to make a donation they are asked to contact the charity’s headquarters at Ballafletcher House on 646999 - that number showing that the Food Bank is effectively an emergency service.

Thanks to the donations received over the year, the charity has its rent payments covered for the next couple of years and it is looking at completing a number of projects.

These include a walk-in chiller which will keep perishable goods fresher for longer.

The kitchen is being revamped with the aim to be able to start teaching clients how to make the most of the food provided in the parcels.