Foodbanks are looking for specific items due to the shocking number of people in Liverpool reliant on them - which is continuing to rise.

While foodbanks are sometimes overwhelmed with donations at this time of year, they may be short of certain foods that are not as obvious.

The majority of foodbanks in Merseyside are desperate for UHT milk, puddings, tinned fruit and more.

For St Andrews Community network, who are responsible for 13 centres across north Liverpool, the generosity of the city has been appreciated.

The centre accepts donations all year round but has been overwhelmed this Christmas time - but just six weeks ago, the centres were struggling to meet the demand.

Simon Huthwaite, operations manager at St Andrews, told the ECHO: "We are completely and utterly swamped at the moment because people have been super, super generous - they always are in the run up to Christmas.

"We're good for now thanks to how generous people have been, but all that food will only last us till around February or March at a push.

"This is the busiest we've ever been - both with referrals and with donations.

Foodbanks are reliant on help from the public

"Referrals are up 47% on the last financial year - we fed 11,236 people last year and we're still collating data for this financial year but we're already at 10k referrals so far and there's still a few months to go.

"For children, the figure is higher - there's been a 50% increase in children being fed by food bank parcels in north Liverpool this financial year.

"It's really depressing how many people we're feeding and strategically, we need to look at the big picture, but I try not to think about the bigger picture all the time because it's tough."

What does St Andrews need most?

St Andrews on Larkhill Lane has been "inundated" with donations.

The centre has an abundance of foods such as beans, pasta and cereal - enough to "last a few years" - but there are some items that consistently run out.

Simon, 43, said: "We work really hard telling people what we want, but we've got a lot of beans, pasta and cereal - probably enough to last us for a few years and we do really well for toiletries, too.

"If we ever have to buy stuff out of our own pocket, it's always things like UHT milk, packet mash, tinned fruit and veg, pasta sauces and puddings like sponge or jam.

"We run short on them throughout the year - people make the most donations around Christmas time, Easter and harvest but there's always gaps where we're struggling.

"We've got so much food now but six weeks ago, it was a different story."

Donations are encouraged to be dropped off at St Andrews' offices on Larkhill Lane, L13 9BR, where the items will be organised and distributed among 13 centres across north Liverpool.

The Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust supports a nationwide network of foodbanks to provide emergency food and support to people trapped in a cycle of poverty.

Many Merseyside foodbanks are managed by the Trussell Trust, including Wirral Foodbank.

On the Wirral Food bank website, the service is clear about what items they have enough of - beans.

Wirral Foodbank

Items described as "urgently needed" include UHT milk, instant mash, packet soup and sponge puddings.

The centre also needs small packs of sugar, tinned fruit, tinned custard and juice, as well as coffee and hot chocolate as the months continue to get colder.

Household items needed include toothpaste and washing up liquid.

There are plenty of locations to drop off donations, which can be seen here.

South Sefton Foodbank

To support people in the south Sefton area, urgently needed items include tinned fruit, tea bags, dried pasta and breakfast cereals.

As with other centres, UHT milk is again urgently needed.

The centre also has plenty of beans and sugar.

To make a donation, choose a convenient location here.

Micah Emergency Food

The Micah Emergency Food centre operates out of St Bride's Church in the Georgian Quarter on Thursdays.

Parish administrator Jackie Corcoran told the ECHO: "The storerooms are absolutely filled and Micah is working at an all hands on deck pace to get the food distributed where needed.

"A donation at this time of year is so appreciated and honestly a cash donation would be the most useful right now."

To make a donation, you can visit the Micah Just Giving page here.

'More and more working people are being referred to us'

Foodbanks are often busier during the summer holidays when kids are off school
Foodbank usage has increased according to staff.

The people using food banks, and their reasons for needing to access the service, have changed in recent years.

Simon Huthwaite of St Andrews said: "The biggest changes in recent years are definitely the number of people we're seeing - it has increased significantly.

"The reasons for referral have also changed because a few years ago, the main reason was benefit related - like a delay or change in benefits - but in last 12 months the number one reason is becoming low income.

"More and more working people are being referred to us - lots of working people and families are in crisis because of stagnant wages and an increase in the cost of living.

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"We work really closely with other foodbanks across the city and we're not going to stop doing food banks while the need is there.

"The workload is massive and we can't sustain the current levels of growth we're seeing - we don't want the level of growth to continue the way it is."