Support associations around Suffolk say they are "swamped" with requests for help, as inflation last month returned to the 40-year high it hit earlier this summer.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index inflation reached 10.1% in September, compared with 9.9% in August.

The increase was driven by food prices, leaping by 14.5% compared with the same month last year, representing the largest annual rise since 1980, according to data modelling.

Rev Nic Stuchfield, chairman of Suffolk Coastal Debt Centre, said the debt centre had been "swamped" and has a backlog of waiting clients for the first time since its founding.

He said: "We've got more than double the number of clients coming through the door month by month than we had this time last year, and 50% more than we had three months ago."

Rev Stuchfield said the people being seen by the debt centre were "more distressed" and the centre has to work with them to stabilise their mental health before helping them with their finances.

He added: "The reality is, the people who are in poverty have got a higher level of inflation than that, because the things that are really essential in life – food, housing, heating and transport, and to a lesser extent, clothing – the rates of inflation, at least for the first four of those, have significantly exceeded 10.1%.

"So the real level of inflation for someone, at or below the poverty line is higher than 10.1%.

"The rising tide of inflation is just causing people to drown. And that's why we're seeing more people."

Compared to last year, Ipswich Citizens Advice has seen a 328% increase in the number of people asking for charitable support and food bank vouchers and a 465% increase in people asking for help with energy bills.

Chief officer Nicky Willshere said she thought the number of people needing help would continue to grow.

She said: "It's unmanageable now and it's only going to continue. I can't see it stopping.

"I can't see there being much change in the next 18 months, to be perfectly honest.

"We've got to be realistic about what's important. With the funding and the money that is available, we've got to be quite focused on what is essential and what is desirable. And we're going to have to go without the desirables."

How much has the price of common foods risen in the past 12 months?

Here are some examples of how the cost of food has risen in the past year.

The figures are based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation and have been published by the Office for National Statistics.

In each case, the figure is the percentage change in the average price over the 12 months to September 2022.

Low-fat milk 42.1%

Margarine and other vegetable fats 30.5%

Whole milk 30.2%

Jams, marmalades and honey 28.1%

Butter 28.0%

Olive oil 27.2%

Cheese and curd 23.1%

Pasta and couscous 22.7%

Eggs 22.3%

Sauces, condiments, salt, spices and culinary herbs 22.1%

Frozen vegetables other than potatoes 20.3%

Potatoes 19.9%

Ready-made meals 19.0%

Poultry 17.2%

Meat 15.3%

Bread 14.6%

Fish 13.5%

Yoghurt 12.8%

Crisps 11.8%

Edible ices and ice cream 11.5%

Fresh or chilled vegetables other than potatoes 11.1%

Pizza and quiche 9.7%

Fruit 8.8%

Rice 6.8%

Breakfast cereals and other cereal products 6.8%

Confectionery products 6.1%

Sugar 4.7%

Dried fruit and nuts 4.6%

Chocolate 3.3%