KENDAL'S food bank boss is anticipating more people to use their services as inflation hits nine per cent.

Calls are mounting for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to take urgent action on the cost-of-living crisis as official figures showed inflation soaring to a 40-year high.

Charities, think tanks and opposition politicians said the Government needs to do more for the poorest households, who are being hit the worst under the crisis.

Households are struggling under the weight of prices that are increasing faster than at any point in more than a generation, data showed on Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said Consumer Prices Index inflation rose to nine per cent in the year to April, up from an already high seven per cent in March.

It was the fastest measured rate since records began in 1989, and the ONS estimates it was the highest since 1982.

A large portion of the rise was due to the price cap on energy bills, which was hiked by 54 per cent for the average household at the start of April.

Linda Sutherland, manager for King's Food Bank, said referals have increased since January.

"Between January and April we received 526 referrals, and provided 17,000 meals," she said.

The users of the food banks has also changed, she said.

"It is not only people on benefits that visit our food banks," she said. "There are a lot of working families who are struggling." 

Leader of Cumbria County Council Stewart Young expressed concerns that people cannot even afford to donate to food banks anymore. 

"People used to go to the supermarket to donate a couple of tins to the food bank but now a lot of people have stopped doing this," he said. "This means that banks get less food in a time when they are being used the most." 

However not all food banks have seen a major rise in Cumbria.

Upper Eden food bank, in Appleby, said that although there were some new people calling in, numbers remained low. 

They speculated if part of this was down to Cumbrian pride and if in the next month numbers would reflect the cost of living crisis. They wanted to remind people that the service is there to be used if needed.