THE number of vulnerable residents in Harwich relying on food banks has spiraled this winter prompting concerns for family welfare.

A new campaign has been launched to boost dwindling stocks at Tendring’s vital food banks, which are under pressure from a rising need in the area.

More and more families are falling on hard times as they struggle with paying back pay-day loans and with increased sanctions on benefits.

Diane Boyd, who runs the Community Builder scheme at the Tendring Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “Harwich foodbank has seen an increase of 60 per cent since August last year."

To combat the crisis, Tendring Council has joined forces with Tendring’s Citizens Advice Bureau, Sainsbury’s and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service for a special Community Food Drive Donation Day in Clacton.

The goods collected will then be shared around the food banks across the district, including George Street in Harwich.

But to donate directly to Harwich Food Bank either phone the Salvation Army on 01255 502502 or drop off goods to the George Street charity shop on Tuesday or Wednesday mornings.

Perishable goods should be donated on Tuesday mornings.