And once gain this year the Salvation Army is urging people to donate gifts to give children a Merry Christmas.

This week the larder celebrated their first birthday, and shocking figures reveal that as food prices have increased by a third (33 per cent) in just five years, it is ordinary families as well as the vulnerable who a returning to the food bank for help.

Anthony Bernard of the Community Larder said: "We see people from all situations, all ages...

"There are many reasons why people come to us.

"Out of work from a good job with no severance pay; failing to make ends meet from a low paid job with a long commute with fuel and other costs rising; unable to understand benefits changes through learning disabilities; partner went off with all the money leaving kids and debts; huge debts after spending on credit in a good job that was lost; went away briefly and squatters moved into house and stole identity."

And as Christmas looms, with cold weather starting to bite and rocketing heating bills, the people who perhaps could cope a year or so ago are now struggling.

Last January, which includes last year's festive period , 36 food parcels where given out and 30 people asked for food aid.

In October this year alone that number increased to 79 emergency food parcels and 139 people seeking help.

Last November four emergency parcels where given out and 11 people needed support - the numbers increased to 13 packages by early December

Economists may say that jobs are on the up - but the reality that for many families, most of them earning enough to ensure that their children have enough to eat this Christmas, let alone affording to buy Christmas gifts, is a major worry.

That is why for the fifteenth year in the row the Salvation Army is appealing for people to donate new toys, Christmas gifts and presents to give to children.

These can include new toys, cuddly toys, books, chocolate, CDs, DVDs, and toiletries.

Major Steve Watts "We just want to help struggling families in need.

"We want everybody to have a good Christmas.