The Daily Echo has teamed up with Southampton City Mission this Christmas as demand for its food banks soar. 

Hundreds of people are walking through the door of the Mission's network of banks across the city and these unprecedented levels are expected to continue. 

Last year the service faced several busy weeks following the festive period, with January and February becoming its busiest months on record.

So following successful campaigns last year, The Daily Echo has once again teamed up with the charity in the run-up to Christmas for Boost The Bank.

Daily Echo: Vicky McKillen, far right, with volunteers at Shirley Baptist ChurchVicky McKillen, far right, with volunteers at Shirley Baptist Church (Image: Newsquest)

We are urging our readers who can to donate at any of the 13 drop-off points across the city.

They include those at four Sainsbury's stores, three Co-Ops, two Lidls, Asda, NISA Local, Aldi, and Little Waitrose.

Vicky McKillen, Basics Bank Manager said: "We are expecting to feed hundreds of people a day, and we are expecting it to get worse if we have another cold and rough winter.

“We are still not back to pre-Covid levels and we are trying to see it creep back up to that again.

“Even though inflation has gone down, that is not reflected in the price of food, and that is a concern we have.”

The food banks desperately need support from now until the New Year as demand surges in a time where people continue to be hit by rising costs.

Desperate measures had to be taken earlier this year when the charity started buying food for the first time in its 27-year history.

READ MORE: This is what happened when we spent the morning volunteering at a city foodbank

And in light of the struggles people are continuing to face, the Mission is now concerned it will run out of food.

Vicky said: “We rely solely on people’s donations, but we had to start buying the food ourselves.

“We have to ask ourselves: how long will this go on for?

“I am fully expecting post-Christmas this year to be worse than last year.

“Our warehouse looks quite full at the moment thanks to harvest festival, but how long will it last?

“In previous years items from harvest festival took us through to the following summer, but I think it will only last us until January.”

Daily Echo:

The Daily Echo campaign comes as nearly 2,000 people were fed after people donated goods in last summer's Boost the Bank. 

Vicky said: “Donating food is the best way to get involved, but if you can’t afford it or doing so will cause you problems, don’t do it.

“Through no fault of their own people can’t afford to heat their homes or pay their bills.

“I want to make sure we can help everyone who comes through our doors.”