Demand for help from Hull and East Yorkshire food banks has risen during the coronavirus lockdown.

Hull Food Bank said the last two weeks were "extremely busy" while the East Riding Food Bank said it was preparing for a further rise in demand.

Both food banks, which are run by the Trussell Trust, have been complying with government social distancing rules by moving to home deliveries and 'at the door' services.

Hull Food Bank manager Russ Barlow said the number of parcels they gave out in March was up by more than 60 compared to February.

Mr Barlow said: "The last two weeks have been extremely busy, but it's settled down a little now.

Community reserve volunteers, Lisa (mother) and Jeanie (daughter) help out at a Trussell Trust foodbank
Community reserve volunteers, Lisa (mother) and Jeanie (daughter) help out at a Trussell Trust foodbank

"We gave out 512 food parcels last month, including 150 for children, compared to 450 in February.

"Hull Food Bank, along with other charities in our area, are responding to the current challenging circumstances and are continuing our services with a revised model.

"As is often the case, it's the most vulnerable that are hit hardest in these situations.

"But we have amazing volunteers ensuring we continue to provide food to those that need it."

Kate Leaf, a trustee of East Yorkshire Food Bank, said volunteers there were working hard to keep serving people who need help.

Ms Leaf said: "We are continuing to monitor demand. We have noticed an increase in demand and we are planning for that demand to increase in the coming weeks.

Both food banks have changed the ways they deliver food parcels in response to the coronavirus outbreak and government rules brought in to tackle it.

Mr Barlow said Hull Food Bank was no longer inviting people inside for drinks and a chat to comply with social distancing rules.

Foodbank Warehouse - Food Sorting by Volunteers

Mr Barlow said: "The most important thing for us is to keep our volunteers and the people referred to us safe.

"We're complying with social distancing advice and now operate an 'at the door' service."

Ms Leaf said East Yorkshire Food Bank had opted to deliver parcels to people's homes during the lockdown.

Ms Leaf said: "For the safety of both our volunteers and clients we have cancelled all public sessions at the Hub and Toll Gavel Church."

No staff at either food bank has contracted or been affected by coronavirus. Ms Leaf said some staff at the East Yorkshire Food Bank were in the vulnerable group and had been stood down during the outbreak.

Both food banks said they had been able to maintain their supplies thanks to donations.

Mr Barlow said Hull Food Bank was starting to run low on tins of tomatoes and rice pudding.

Ms Leaf said previous donations meant East Yorkshire Food Bank could provide food parcels as normal.

She said: "We are lucky enough to have amazing support from our community and local businesses.

"During the harvest festival and our reverse advent calendar campaigns last year we saw generous donations so we are currently able to met demand.

"We have always received a great response from the community when need to restock certain items through our Facebook page and website."

Both Food Banks said they were grateful for the support they had received during the outbreak.

Mr Barlow said: "It's been a great response from local people and organisations offering help and donations, which we are so grateful for."

Ms Leaf said: "We’d like to thank the public for their continued support and the show of great community spirit."

It comes as the Trussell Trust previously said the coronavirus presented food banks with an "unprecedented challenge".

Trussell Trust chief executive Emma Revie said the spread of coronavirus meant the future was uncertain for food banks.

Ms Revie said: "It is possible that will face increased demand as people lose income, at the same time as food donations drop or staff and volunteers are unavailable, due to measures rightly put in place to slow the spread of infection.

"All of this comes when food banks are already dealing with a record level of need for emergency food."