THE amount of food needed to support struggling families in Chard has TREBLED in the last three years, the News can reveal.

The Lord's Larder, a service set up by Chard Churches Together, provides emergency food supplies for people in need.

But volunteers say their resources are being stretched to the limit as more families approach them for help.

In 2011, they were dishing out an average of 18 bags a month, which had doubled to 36 bags a month last year, and in the first four months of 2014 that figure had increased again to 54 bags a month.

John White said: “For the moment all we can do is soldier on helping those we can, looking at each individual case.

“It is clear that our most vulnerable people have been hit with a wave of cuts to their benefits.

“You would have problems if people did not have this service because people are already finding they cannot live.”

So far in 2014, based on projected figures, the group expect to give out 648 bags of food to nearby families.

They are based at the Forefront Community Centre, in Fore Street, and there food comes in from nine churches, schools and other community groups.

People are referred to them from various agencies and a team of dedicated volunteers from each church give their time to keep the centre going five days a week.

As a thank you to the people of Chard for their support so far, they are running a Lords Larder Lunch for people who have been referred to them, at St Mary's Church Rooms on Thursday, June 12, from 12 noon to 2-30pm"

John added: “People in Chard are fantastic at supporting us so we can help others so we hope that continues.”

At the event, there will be soup and rolls, cottage pie and vegetables, strawberry gateaux or bakewell tart washed down with tea or coffee.

Entry is free by ticket only which can be collected from the Forefront Community Centre.