MORE than 1,500 food parcels have been given out to vulnerable people in Southend.

Police officers have been assisting the Southend Vineyard Storehouse charity, based in Coleman Street, by supporting the volunteers with their food bank operation.

Through police's day to day engagements, they have also been referring people to the charity if they believe they need additional support.

On Friday, 106 people required the charity’s help following referrals.

Chief Inspector Ian Hughes, District Commander for Southend, has been a frequent visitor, maintaining regular contact with the organisers.

He said: "The charity provides an invaluable service to the community.

"They are real asset to Southend and I’d like to thank them for their efforts.

"It’s great to know that we’ve supported the charity by referring those in need to their services.”"

Rob Carvosso, project manager at Southend Vineyard Storehouse, said: "We have had fantastic support from Essex Police, who have been key in ensuring social distancing measures were adhered to.

"There has been plenty of demand, so it’s key that we’re supported by our partners including Southend Council and Essex Police.

"I’m really proud of my team and I’d like to extend my thanks to them, the community and Southend’s officers."