FOOD bank organisers says a variety of life pressures are behind the spiralling need for handouts.

The Salvation Army, which runs the Harwich foodbank, has seen the average number of parcels given out each week jump from ten last August to more than 20 last month.

Although the exact reasons for the increase are uncertain a hike in food and utility prices coupled with the cold weather have been highlighted as factors.

The Salvation Army has noted an impact on benefit claimants being reassessed and the Bedroom Tax, which sees housing benefit cut if a house has a spare bedroom.

Territorial Envoy Claire Groombridge, who runs Harwich Salvation Army with her husband, Les said: “Whatever the reason, The Salvation Army is concerned about the personal impact of food bank use on people’s health and wellbeing."