AFTER a ‘significant increase in demand’ over the past few weeks, Chard foodbank is calling on public to stay generous as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the country.

Even before the illness had reached the UK, the Lord’s Larder was recording increased demand for supplies in the town.

Organisers say the town was particularly generous during harvest and Christmas, but more supplies are needed to help people using the foodbank.

Maurice Banfield, from the foodbank’s team, said: “The Lord’s Larder have been especially busy over the last couple of months. We are pleased to have been able to help.

“We anticipate coronavirus will increase the demand. It does mean, however, that we need to build up our stocks.

“We are a small charity so we cannot hold large stocks. We always need to top up the direct giving of food items and we would usually do this by buying in small batches from the supermarkets.

“However, with the threat of Covid-19, suddenly the shelves are short of our staple supplies.”

Supermarkets across the UK have been imposing limits on how many of each item shoppers can buy, with household essentials like toilet roll, hand wash, bread and milk being snapped up quickly.

“The added complication of restrictions on the number of items customers can buy also applies to us so we are limited in what stocks we can get,” Maurice added.

“We are also mindful of not wanting to aggravate the situation by buying too much at one time.

“If shoppers can get in the habit of buying an extra item to donate, either in the supermarket collection points or directly to Forefront, we would be really grateful.”

The Lord’s Larder is particularly in need of tinned vegetables, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, tinned meats and fish, jam, long life milk, teabags and coffee.

Maurice said: “With the risk of coronavirus at this time we have also started to include bars of soap, so we do need these too.

“Thank you for the continuing support that the local people in this area give us.”