Foodbanks are calling on people to ramp up their donations in December when demand for emergency supplies is expected to rise dramatically.
The Trussell Trust says there was a 47% increase in the number of three-day emergency supplies given out by its network of 400 foodbanks throughout the UK last December compared to the monthly average.
The trust is also appealing to people to continue giving after Christmas when donations usually drop off.
The new figures show the trust's foodbanks provided 146,798 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, including many children, in its busiest month on record last December.
Recent statistics show a 13% increase in foodbank use in the six months since April, suggesting that the run-up to Christmas will be even busier.
The Trussell Trust's chief executive Mark Ward said: 'Every year we see a spike in demand at Christmas but this year foodbanks are expecting their busiest ever.
'At Christmas foodbanks will be working hard to provide not only those regular essentials, like pasta and cereal, but also little extras that offer hope at a time when people need it most.'