A Birmingham food bank has seen an explosion in the numbers of people who are unable to feed themselves and their families coming to them for help.

Record numbers of the hungry and destitute were being referred to the Sparkhill Food Bank for emergency food packages this year and staff expect they will be dealing with a huge increase this Christmas.

This comes as the food bank boss hit back at remarks made by Education Secretary Michael Gove that suggested that people who used food banks were often responsible for their own predicaments.

Mr Gove had said that such people were “not best able to manage their finances”, on a visit to a food bank in his constituency and that the Government would provide both financial aid and support to help them make better decisions.

Gareth Duffield, a supervisor working at the Sparkhill Food Bank, said that between January 1 and December 31, 2012, they gave out just under 1,000 parcels which fed 2,300 people.

But they have already distributed nearly 1,900 parcels this year which have fed 2,900 people.

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