A FOODBANK in Test Valley is aiming to support residents more by offering an extra drop in session.

The Romsey Foodbank, Unit 20 Romsey Industrial Estate, will now be open every Tuesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Figures revealed by the charity which supports people in Romsey and surrounding villages show in 2019 they have supported 622 people and have had 5,000 kilos of food donated, while last year the foodbank had a total of 13,000 tons donated.

The charity has seen a ten percent increase in people using foodbanks since last year, which is "in line with the national growth", according to Romsey's foodbank manager Jo Topley.

Ms Topley, said: "We want to treat people with as much respect as possible, because if you get a box of food you do not get much choice what is put in it.

"Since we have more volunteers we are able to open another session and can facilitate a face to face session which is more personable.

"We are opening another food session because at the moment we are here on a Wednesday and the rest of the time we have boxes available that people can collect."

The food bank has been serving residents in Romsey for three years and is open every Wednesday from 10.30am to 12.30pm and every Friday at the same time.

Ms Topley said: "If someone needs food we have always been able to support them, but it it has not been ideal with boxes.

"We would love to be able to not give food in boxes and support people face to face. In the long-term, we would love to be open from Monday to Friday as well.

"People should not have to use food banks, but they do and during the school holidays we provide extra support to more vulnerable families, because going without hot meals for several weeks is quite a big deal.

She added: "Romsey is very fortunate and a lot of people volunteer in Romsey and we are very grateful for that, as there are more people willing to help out."

The foodbank also offers toiletries, sanitary products and nappies.