Figures from Chipping Barnet foodbank show the centre has fed almost 1,500 people since it opened little more than a year ago.

The charity, based at the Salvation Army headquarters in Albert Road, New Barnet, collects and packages boxes of donated food for families and individuals in crisis who have been referred from various authorities.

Volunteers at the charity say the Christmas period was their busiest yet and latest figures show the branch has fed a total of 1,436 people – 553 of whom were children.

The amount of food handed out has reached almost 12,000kg and organisers say there has been no drop in demand since the branch opened in November 2012.

Volunteer Judy Burstow said: “It seems the recession is biting families and those on low incomes more than before.

“All of the food collected has been donated and the foodbank would like to thank all the donors - individuals, churches, offices and local community groups - their generosity is quite overwhelming.”