FOOD banks are always busy places, but when the season of giving arrives, the items donated rise in numbers. 

Walton & District Food Bank, in Standley Road, has been helping the local community for an entire decade.

Jill Joshua, the lead volunteer and secretary at the food bank, has been a part of the team since its creation ten years ago.

Jill said: "I love meeting people and I think we have an amazing community, I enjoy helping make a difference."

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Full - The Walton Food Bank's larderFull - The Walton Food Bank's larder (Image: Walton Food Bank)The food bank is run solely by volunteers, including the key roles such as secretary, treasurer and administrator.

Members of the container team date and sort donations, add them to shelves as well as pack parcels.

Other volunteers pick up surplus food stocks from local supermarkets as well as man the warm hub hosted on Fridays.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Warm - Clothes available at the Food BankWarm - Clothes available at the Food Bank (Image: Walton Food Bank)

Jill said: "This team does not change, we just work harder at this time of year.

"Donations of food and hygiene vary day to day, with the majority coming in on Fridays. It can be as low as 235 or as much as 1,650 units in a week.

"We do see an increase in donations running up to Christmas where local businesses and individuals like to support us."

Jill works at the food bank four to five times a week, where she does the usual jobs such as sorting food and packing parcels, but also gives advice, answers calls and hosts fundraisers.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette: Festive - Some of the Christmas themes items sent to people in needFestive - Some of the Christmas themes items sent to people in need (Image: Walton Food Bank)

Jill said: "We are an amazing team and despite some very sad cases we deal with, we all have a fantastic sense of humour and try to be welcoming and friendly.  

"We all have to put in more hours but are so willing to do this. The packing of our Christmas hampers takes several days.

"The fact we are all very efficient and know our roles helps when we are run off our feet.

"I am always looking at ways in which we can go the extra mile, like free winter coats, draught excluders, toys, and free slow cookers.

"Over the Christmas season, we are proud of making a difference, to see tears change to relief and smiles."

For more information on the food bank go to the Walton Food Bank Facebook Page.