Food donations to the city's big charity stockpile fell last month as more people sought help amid soaring prices. Connie Ng Man-yin, supervisor of the St James' Settlement People's Food Bank, said donations had probably slumped because many regular donors had turned to help the victims of last month's earthquake in Sichuan province. 'We have never received so few food donations before,' she said. 'Some of our donors regularly spend a few hundred dollars to even a thousand dollars buying food at supermarkets and deliver it to us. I think some of them [last month] donated money to Sichuan victims instead.' She said rice donations had dropped to about 800kg last month from the usual average of 2,000kg to 3,000kg a month. Instant noodle donations had fallen by almost half from the usual monthly average of about 3,000 100-gram packets to about 1,600 packs last month, she said. Canned meat and vegetable donations also slid from the usual average of more than 1,000 cans a month to about 700 cans last month, said Ms Ng. She said she expected the situation to last for at least two months. The number of needy people seeking the food bank's help rose 17.6 per cent in April year on year to 415 people. Ms Ng said about 80 per cent of these people had taken dried food from the food bank, while the rest either took coupons to have meals at fast food chains or went to its centre in Sai Ying Pun to eat. She expected demand for its services to increase in view of surging food prices. 'Low-income families will seek help from us when they can no longer afford [food].' But she said despite slumping donations, the food bank still gave out the same portions of packaged food to each applicant - 3kg of rice, seven 100-gram packets of instant noodles and seven cans of meat and vegetables each week for up to eight weeks. Ms Ng said she would appeal to more corporations to donate money in an effort to buy enough food. About 70 per cent of its food bank stock was from in-kind donations, while the centre bought the rest using donated funds, said Ms Ng.