‘The system needs to be looked at because the problem is only going to get worse’ – that is the view of the founder of the Yate and Sodbury Foodbank as demand for help increases.

Rob Vernon set up the centre in Station Road in Yate nine years ago, with his wife Helen.

They have been helping the community ever since, seeing the Foodbank become a big part of the Yate area.

However, new figures have revealed that the number of individuals using the service is on the increase but not necessarily with the kind people that you may think.

Last year, the foodbank supported over 1,400 individuals – up 30 per cent on the previous 12 months – giving away almost 16 tonnes of food.

Mr Vernon said: “The people that we get here are not always the ones you would expect. I would say that 25 per cent of the people that come to the Foodbank are working, they are on minimum wage or on zero hour contracts.

“Around 50 per cent of those that we get here are on Universal Credit or disability benefits. The way the system is at the moment means that they are really struggling to get by and so need support from us here.

“The other 25 per cent is our most vulnerable group and they could be having a really tough time because of a break-up, domestic violence, mental health issues and other things.

“The main thing that we want to tell people is that the people we see at the Foodbank are not here by choice, it could be absolutely anyone.

“A lot of people in work are one missed pay day away from a big problem.

“The system needs to be looked at because the people that came through the door here should not have to be coming to a foodbank.”

People supported by the foodbank are referred by South Gloucestershire Council, schools, Citizens Advice, churches and a selection of others.

Mr Vernon added: “In total there are around 85 volunteers throughout our South Gloucestershire branches. The main thing we do is make the people who come through the door feel comfortable and at ease.

“We talk to them and make sure that they feel valued as a person – we do not judge a single person.”