A UK CHARITY has launched a new campaign to encourage donations to food banks using its BanktheFood free app which offers a simple way to donate items desperately needed.

The app pings people a list of items urgently needed from nearby food banks as they arrive at their local supermarket.

Shoppers can add an item to their shop and drop it off at the donation station.

Every week the BanktheFood generates more than 7000 donations for UK food banks, helping ensure they get the items they need to provide a balanced emergency food parcel, but more is needed.

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Emma Spring, co-founder of BanktheFood, explains: "We talk to foodbanks daily and have a fair idea of how challenging things are getting, but this is the first time we've surveyed our network and are shocked by the increases and how food banks are going above and beyond to help.

“Food poverty is a very real problem in this country and a growing concern for many people. Food banks are a lifeline for thousands of people.

“If everyone made a weekly donation, helping food banks get what they need – imagine how many people we could help get through this crisis."

35-year-old mum, Rhianna Scott was helped by Peeblesshire Food Bank when she became destitute with her three young children: She said: "At the time, I wasn't working because my children were so young, and it all happened very suddenly.

“We were fortunate to get emergency housing, but it was completely empty, and I had no money. I couldn't even afford to feed us.

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“Within hours, an enormous food package arrived at our door. It had everything we needed to keep us going for a few days, including food, nappies, and food vouchers. I just broke down. I was overwhelmed by the generosity.

“I never thought I'd need a food bank, I didn't even know what one was until then. But I am so grateful. It was a very difficult time, and I don't know what I would have done without that support."

A spokesperson for Peeblesshire Foodbank said: "We are managing at the moment because we had reserves allowing us to buy food to top up the donations we get.

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“Demand has increased by 20% overall, but the number of children we are helping has increased by 36%.

“Things are really tough for families at the moment, especially for those with children under the age of 5.

“I am angered by the inequality in this country, the burden those at the bottom are carrying for the man at the top is just not right."