Harrogate District Foodbank has operated under the umbrella of the Trussell Trust for almost a decade and that organisation has issued a stark warning that this winter may be the most challenging in its history.

That would represent a progression of the rising need for support from foodbanks which has already seen Harrogate’s grow to include new centres in Knaresborough, which opened six years ago, and Starbeck, which has been operating for more than a year.

Between them, over the last year they have provided vital nourishment for more than 3,000 people.

That result would have been impossible without the generosity of the public, who provide donations to make up food parcels and between 70 and 80 volunteers who give up their own time to support the foodbank.

Although the Trussell Trust now has an ambition that would see changes in state support making foodbanks redundant over the next few years, the current cost of living crisis is likely to increase pressure in the months ahead.

Many of those working to help families and individuals in need are thankfully very experienced in their duties – some have been volunteering since Harrogate’s foodbank was established in 2013.

In that era, there was an assumption among some that a community with a reputation for affluence would not need such support. Experience proved otherwise and the foodbank has become an increasingly established element of society.

Linda Macrow, a trustee who has also worked as manager, said: “Food comes in from many different places, with a lot of supermarkets having public collection points for people to leave donations.

“This year a lot of schools have donated to the foodbank from their harvest festivals.

“We have a warehouse at Killinghall and everything is weighed in and weighed out. We are a charity and we have to be accountable.”

Churches across the Harrogate district also offer valuable support through donations from members.

Although the foodbank provides help to those in crisis, it also works to try to assist them, with Citizens Advice volunteers attending to offer advice and guidance on issues including benefit claims.

The aim is that with an improved knowledge of the support available, some may find themselves in circumstances where they no longer need to rely on the foodbank.