A foodbank has issued its annual harvest appeal and appealed for help to cope with unprecedented demand.

Braintree Area Foodbank has fed more than 1,600 people since April, with around 650 of them being children.

The foodbank has announced its annual Harvest Appeal shopping list and is asking for as many donations as possible to meet the rising demand.

A spokesman for the foodbank said: "Those who are using our centres in Braintree, Halstead and Witham, are facing huge difficulties due to low income and benefit delays.

"It only takes an unexpected bill, the cost of a prescription, an increase in energy bills etc. to cross the line of being able to eat or not."

"As we enter the autumn and winter season many people will face both food and fuel poverty."

This year's shopping list features: long life milk, cereal bars, instant mash, sponge puddings, tinned tomatoes, rice pudding tins, packet soups and custard.

Donations of chocolate bars, biscuits, tinned fish, tinned fruit, sugar, cold meat, coffee, cereal, pasta sauce, tinned spaghetti, jam and packet rice are also needed.

Collection points are available at the libraries in Braintree, Halstead and Witham.

More information, or alternative donations points, can be found at www.braintreearea.foodbank.org.uk.