Members of an online Bexleyheath community forum have been challenged to raise £2,000 in order to provide a new transport van for the Bexley Foodbank.

Admins of the Bexleyheath News & Gossip Facebook group said they have started the online fundraiser in response to the rising number of people availing of the service in recent years.

Speaking to News Shopper, independent councillor for Thamesmead East and group admin, Danny Hackett, said that a number of recent online posts on the group about the foodbank sparked the idea for the fundraiser as admins wished to take a more direct approach to helping the community service.

MORE: Bexley foodbank use triples as people reach out for charity lifeline

"We get countless posts everyday about the foodbank so one day we just thought, 'Hang on a minute, let's channel these 24,000 members into raising £2,000'," he said.

In November, this newspaper reported that more than 3,000 emergency three-day food parcels were handed out over a six month period in 2018.

Manager of the Bexley Foodbank, Gillian Bates said that she has seen a significant increase in the number of people using the foodbank since she started in 2013.

"From 2013 to 2014, 2,047 parcels were handed out to people. For 2018 to 2019 that will probably rise to around 6,000," said Ms Bates.

MORE: Foodbank use is growing in Greenwich and Universal Credit is being blamed

In response to this, Cllr Hackett said that he believes that although local residents are aware of the unfortunate increase in foodbank usage, there isn't enough of a proactive response to the issue from the community.

"It's fifty-fifty really. People realise that there is an increase, but because they are not affected by it, it’s out of sight and out of mind for them.

"For me, I do think it is an absolute tragedy that in 2019, people are still relying on foodbanks.

"No-one should have to worry about what they’re going to do to feed their kids," he said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the groups fundraiser can do so here.