STAFF at a foodbank are asking for urgent donations as they warn Christmas could be their busiest month ever.

Last December, The Whitehawk Foodbank provided 137 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, 47 of which went to children.

That figure is expected to be higher this year as it launches its Twelve Days of Christmas campaign.

Spokesman Anne Amner said: “The city’s response to us last Christmas was amazing.

“We had collections happening in ones and twos.

“Families brought in beautifully decorated bags full of food, offices donated car loads and even whole streets in Brighton got involved.

“The schools were fantastic again and we continue to be supported throughout the year by many churches across the city.

“We also received generous financial gifts last Christmas with some continuing as standing orders through the year, and these make an incredible difference to the work we are able to do.”

The foodbank is a member of The Trussell Trust network, which revealed across the UK it sees a sharp spike in demand over December compared to the rest of the year.

Anne said: “Covering the costs of increasingly cold weather and having children at home during the school holidays make December a difficult time for many people.

“When this is paired with something unavoidable like a delayed benefit payment, illness or levels of benefits not covering the cost of essentials, people are pushed into crisis.

“In the lead up to Christmas 2017, people across Brighton and Hove pulled together to ensure the foodbank had enough food and funds to ensure everyone referred was able to access emergency help.”

Manager Rich Merrick said every year, the foodbank sees an increase in demand in December.

He said: “Based on the help people have already needed this year, we think the lead up to this Christmas could be particularly busy.

“It’s not right that anyone in Brighton and Hove needs a foodbank at any time of year.

“We’re working with other foodbanks across the country to campaign for long-term change so hopefully we can reach a future where no one needs us.

“Whilst that work is underway, we’ll do all we can to make sure local people at risk of hunger this Christmas get crucial support.

“We’re extremely lucky that local people are so generous, especially at this time of year, because we rely on that generosity to get help to people when it’s most needed.”

This year the Foodbank is running a Twelve Days of Christmas campaign and full details can be found at or its facebook page.

The charity is encouraging anyone planning to support their work this Christmas to donate as soon as possible.

This will ensure volunteers have enough time to process and distribute generous donations during the busy lead up to Christmas.