An average of 2,600 emergency food parcels were provided for children every day in the first six months of the pandemic, new figures from the Trussell Trust show.
The Christian charity said it had seen a "shocking" 47% increase in demand for emergency food during the pandemic.
A total of 1.2 million emergency food parcels were given to people in need between 1 April and 30 September this year, with 470,000 going to children.
The level of demand breaks all previous records within a six-month period for the charity, but Trussell Trust warned that the real number of people receiving emergency food parcels was far higher as other community groups have also been stepping in to meet the need.
Emma Revie, chief executive of the Trussell Trust, explains: "Throughout 2020, communities across the country have stepped in to provide vital support to people left without enough money.
"Volunteers in food banks have been working hard under extremely difficult circumstances to make sure support is there for people struggling to afford essentials.
"But it's not right that any of us are forced to a charity for food, at any time of year."
She said the national welfare system needed to be "strong enough" to support those struggling to afford basic necessities.
"This pandemic has shown the unexpected can hit us suddenly, with devastating consequences for people's lives," she said.
"But it's also shown we can make huge changes to the way we live and look after each other. It's shown that when we come together to push for change, the government responds. Together, we can build a hunger free future."