Demand for food support from an Ipswich library has doubled in just a few months.

The news comes as the price of food continues to rise amid a nationwide cost of living crisis.

Gainsborough Community Library, a part of the Suffolk Libraries charity, says demand for its low-cost fruit and veg bags is on the rise as the winter months set in. 

The initiative sees bags filled with a range of fruit and vegetables available from 1pm every Thursday afternoon for just £2.

Executive library manager at Gainsborough, Mandy Grimwood, said: "We increased the number of bags available to 45 to meet the increased demand.

Ipswich Star: Mandy Grimwood, executive library managerMandy Grimwood, executive library manager (Image: William Warnes, Newsquest)

"We tend to sell all of these in our pop-up shop that runs every Thursday afternoon.

It’s great to be able to offer healthy low-cost food to the community and we’re grateful to Catchey’s Fruit and Veg from Ipswich Market who give us the produce at very low cost."

Earlier this month, Suffolk Libraries launched the Be Kind in Kind campaign to support vulnerable people through a difficult winter.

The initiative has seen the charity open all 45 of its libraries - including Gainsborough - to the community, offering a warm space, free hot drinks, kindness rack - so people can pick donated clothes - hygiene products and a safe place to meet people.

“Since Suffolk Libraries launched the Be Kind in Kind campaign people have also been coming in to make the most of the hot drinks and our kindness rack," added Mandy. 

"On Monday, one of our regulars found a warm coat which fitted her and was so pleased as it will help her keep warm over the winter.”

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, Bruce Leeke, chief executive of Suffolk Libraries, said: "We are here to meet the needs and support our communities.

Ipswich Star: Bruce Leeke, chief executive at Suffolk LibrariesBruce Leeke, chief executive at Suffolk Libraries (Image: William Warnes, Newsquest)

"We will be offering a range of support schemes, as well as teaching skills such as sewing how to save money.

"We understand the challenge we face but initiatives like this are crucial.

"People need to know then when they need us, we will be there."

You can donate to the Be Kind in Kind campaign by visiting: