Campaigners have revealed there has been a "dramatic rise" in demand for foodbank support in Ipswich as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite.

A recent study by Barnado's has suggested almost a third of parents in the country have fears about being made homeless and nearly half worry about keeping their house warm for their children.

Nicky Willshere, chief executive of Citizens Advice Ipswich, said the service had recently seen a huge increase in demand for support - with the strain meaning not everyone can receive help.

She said: “We have seen a dramatic rise in the numbers of people accessing our services due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Ipswich Star: Citizens Advice Ipswich chief executive Nicky Willshere, Lucy TaylorCitizens Advice Ipswich chief executive Nicky Willshere, Lucy Taylor (Image: Lucy Taylor)

“Access to emergency support in the form of foodbank referrals of energy payments is what we are experiencing.

“Figures show an increase of 174% more demand for charitable support than in quarter three, October to December 2022.

“The increased demand for our services is not being met with increased resources to meet the demands, putting my team under considerable pressure, not always able to meet the level of demand we are seeing.”

Last month, council leaders in Suffolk committed £1.5million to support food banks as the number of users continues to rise.

The most recent figures show the number of food parcels distributed in Suffolk hit a record high in October 2022, with 9,460 provided to people in one month.

That was up from 5,868 in October 2021.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt revealed he had been in contact with concerned constiuents and called on the government to do all it can to bring down high levels of inflation, which have seen prices in supermarkets and household bills soar.

He said: “Due to inflation being at very high levels for every day items and energy bills also being very high I’ve had lots of contact from constituents who have been struggling to get by.

Ipswich Star: MP Tom Hunt, House of CommonsMP Tom Hunt, House of Commons (Image: House of Commons)

“I’m hopeful that over the next few months we will really start to see inflation falling significantly.

“This would make a massive difference for people. The PM has been right to focus so much on this. We’re seeing wholesale energy prices starting to fall.

“It’s important we start to see this feeding through to my constituents asap.

“I raised this in Parliament last week. It’s been an incredibly difficult time for a number of my constituents but I’m hopeful that in the not too distant future things will start to ease for many.”

The problem with children poverty has been raised even before the cost-of-living crisis hit, as the figures between 2015 and 2020 revealed a significant grow in numbers, according to Department for Work and Pensions figures.

The numbers in Ipswich grew from 6,698 to 8,160 - a rise of 39%, a larger increase than anywhere else in East Anglia.

Jack Abbott, Labour's prospective parliamentary candidate for Ipswich, said: “It’s shocking to see the hardship that people are now facing in Ipswich and across Suffolk. 

Ipswich Star: Jack Abbott, NewsquestJack Abbott, Newsquest (Image: Newsquest)

“Of course, global factors have played their part, but they have been compounded by the Conservative’s reckless gamble with our economy last autumn, which has left the rest of us paying the price.

“Nor has this happened overnight either. For 13 years we’ve seen wages stagnate while costs have gone up and public services have been hollowed out. Poverty is the heartbreaking consequence - it feels like we’ve lost an entire decade.

“Costs are mounting up - whether it's putting food on the table, paying for bills, housing, childcare or social care - and it’s obvious we can’t take any more sticking plasters, we need fundamental change.

“That any child in one of the richest nations in the world goes hungry or has opportunities removed because of poverty is a scandal."