Council leaders in Suffolk have committed £1.5m to support foodbanks as the number of users continues to rise as the cost of living crisis bites harder.

The most recent figures show the number of food parcels distributed in Suffolk hit a record high in October 2022, with 9,460 provided to people in one month.

That was up from 5,868 in October 2021.

Suffolk Public Sector Leaders are now working to create a Supported Food Network across the county.

This would adopt a coordinated, county-wide approach to the challenges.

It will work with new and existing food outlets, including food banks, providing more stock and ensuring a range of enhanced support was available to meet local needs.

Suzie Morley, chair of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders, said: “We know rising costs are seriously squeezing household budgets.

"The network of food banks, community larders and other charities are doing an outstanding job of helping people.

“That locally delivered support remains absolutely vital. This project will work closely with those existing providers, offering them additional support.

Data from the Suffolk Cost of Living Dashboard shows the current situation in the county.

This includes a rise in the number of children receiving free school meals. The most recent figures show nearly one in five Suffolk pupils is now eligible.

Citizens Advice has also seen a doubling in the number of people it is supporting during the cost-of-living crisis.

The Public Sector Leaders agreed to put £1.5million into the new Supported Food Network over the next three years.

They have previously allocated £1.8million funding to the Local Welfare Assistance scheme, which saw more than 7,000 applications for help between October and December 2022.

The scheme helps those experiencing financial hardship and can provide financial help, guidance and advice.

Further details of cost of living support available for Suffolk residents and organisations can be found at