VISITORS to the Malvern Autumn Show donated more than three tons, or 120 crates, in one of the UK’s largest single food bank collections.

The Three Counties Showground, together with charity the Trussell Trust, hosted the collection at the two-day show over the weekend to help tackle poverty and give back to its local community.

Volunteers were overwhelmed as more than 60,000 visitors poured through the gates and headed to the collection point.

On the first day, well over 60 crates were collected and had to be moved to another storage point overnight as the tent became too full.

Diana Walton, head of shows at the showground said: “The response to our giant harvest festival collection has been incredible.

“Our visitors have been extremely generous and have helped become part of something truly historic.

“This collection for the food bank was all about giving back to those in our community we know are in need and was a return to the real essence of the harvest festival.”

Between April 2018 and March 2019, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network handed out emergency food supplies to 45,824 children and adults in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire alone, and 142,234 across the West Midlands.

There has also been a rise in schools in England setting up food banks. The National Governance Association’s annual survey released earlier this month found eight per cent of governors were in schools which had food banks - up from seven per cent last year.

Sarah Barcham, area manager at the Trussell Trust, said they were overwhelmed with the response.

She said: “When we were approached by the team at Three Counties to hold a harvest festival donation point at Malvern Autumn Show we were more than happy to help to make sure it was going to the people who need it most.

“No one in the UK should need to turn to a food bank. But during the last year across our network we’ve seen a 19 per cent increase in food bank use – that’s 1.6 million emergency food supplies to people in crisis. More than a third of these went to children.

“We’re working towards a future where no one needs a food bank, but until we reach that point, donations from the public are vital.”