SINCE October 1 last year, Basingstoke Foodbank has provided in the region of 3,000 food crisis parcels.

But behind every figure is a story - a person who finds themselves in the supremely vulnerable position of not knowing where their next meal is going to come from. Or worse, not knowing where their child or other dependant's next meal is coming from.

This is the story of two people who found themselves in need of support from Basingstoke FoodBank.

Jane (not her real name) is in receipt of Universal Credit.

She has a child, now one, and with childcare costs support not kicking in until children are two-years-old, it is not financially viable for her to go back to work.

Jane said: "I get paid on the tenth of the month and by the end of the month, it is a real struggle."

Requiring the help of a food bank has its roots in a number of issues - benefit changes, job losses, relationship break-ups. Mental health is also a root cause and this is something affecting Jane, who has diagnosed anxiety and depression.

But this is one of the benefits of the service, according to Jane, in the food bank volunteers can support her.

She said: "I was feeling really nervous [when she first went to the food bank]. But I needed help and I had to overcome that feeling.

"They [the volunteers] made me feel so welcome. They were very chatty to me and my little one.

"It is a place you can yourself in. They always ask how you are and make you feel part of a family. It is so nice to come here and be able to open up about things."

Andrea (also not her real name) echoes these thoughts as she received advice and signposting about mental health after she had been signed off work and became in need to the food bank.

Andrea said she felt "embarrassed and ashamed" to be in need of a food crisis parcel, but as a single person, her loss of income (she also went five weeks without a benefits payment due to system changes) is more keenly felt than those co-habiting.

The consequences of a food bank service not being available is particularly profound for Jane.

She said: "If it wasn't here, I would probably lose my child as I couldn't afford to feed him.

"I honestly do not know where I would be."

Andrea meanwhile felt she would have had to resort to begging if the service was not there for her.

Going to the foodbank, however, also opened up a door to liaise with Basingstoke Citizens Advice, as well as receive support from the centre's volunteers.

After encountering the service, she added: "I felt comfort knowing there was support there. I realised there was no shame in holding your hands up and asking for help."

Basingstoke Foodbank is searching for a new base of its operations.

To get in touch with suggestions for a new location for Basingstoke Foodbank, or any charity partners wishing to share a premise, email