TAUNTON Foodbank handed out 569 three-day emergency food supplies and Christmas hampers to people in crisis - with 243 going to children - last month.

The boss at the charity has thanked the public's incredible support following the donation of more than eight tonnes of food throughout December.

Taunton Foodbank manager Sue Weightman said: "We hope that one day there will be no need for a foodbank in Taunton Deane, but while our help is needed we will ensure people referred receive a non-judgmental welcome, space to be heard and the best support possible.

"We couldn’t keep the foodbank’s doors open without local people as we rely on donations to make sure everyone receives a nutritionally balanced parcel of emergency food.

"Thank you so much to everyone who has donated food, money or time to offer some help and hope to people when it is most needed.

"We have seen an incredible response from people across Taunton Deane over the last month and are so grateful for, and humbled by, your generosity.

"Our food stocks have been given a huge boost and we now have plenty of food to last us through the cold winter months."

Taunton Foodbank provides three-day emergency food supplies and support to local people unable to afford food due to an unavoidable crisis such as illness, redundancy or an unexpected bill.

It provided people in Taunton Deane with 4,351 emergency three-day food supplies in the year from April 2016, with 1,805 for children.

The organisation is part of the Trussell Trust network, a charity motivated by Christian principles.

Taunton Foodbank is one of the chosen charities that will benefit from sponsorship funds at this year's Taunton Soroptimist Swimathon at Taunton School on Saturday and Sunday, February 17 and 18.

To make a donation to Taunton Foodbank or to find out how to help click here.