A COLLECTION for food banks held at the Malvern Autumn Show is thought to be one of the biggest ever held in the UK after three tons worth of items were donated.
The drive was run by The Trussell Trust and the Three Counties across the two days and led to 120 crates of donations.
Volunteers were overwhelmed as more than 60,000 visitors poured through the gates and headed to the collection point.
On the first day well over 60 crates were collected and had to be moved to another storage point overnight as the initial tent became too full.
Diana Walton, the Three Counties Showground’s head of shows, said: “The response to our giant harvest festival collection has been incredible.
“Our visitors have been extremely generous and have helped become part of something truly historic.
“This collection for the food bank was all about giving back to those in our community we know are in need and was a return to the real essence of the harvest festival.”
Between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network handed out emergency food supplies to 45,824 children and adults in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire alone, along with 142,234 across the West Midlands.
There has also been a rise in schools in England setting up foodbanks.
Trussell Trust manager Sarah Barcham, who was on-site, said they were more than happy to hold the collection when the organisers asked them and they were ‘overwhelmed’ with the response.
“No one in the UK should need to turn to a foodbank.
“But during the last year across our network we’ve seen a 19 per cent increase in food bank use – that’s 1.6 million emergency food supplies to people in crisis.
“More than a third of these went to children.
“We’re working towards a future where no one needs a foodbank, but until we reach that point, donations from the public are vital.”
The donations will be taken to Worcester and Coventry to get weighed and sorted and they will then be distributed among the local Trussell Trust network.