How foodbanks work

Providing emergency food to people in crisis.

Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple bag of food makes a big difference, with foodbanks helping prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems.

Food is donated

Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to a foodbank. Large collections often take place as part of Harvest Festival celebrations and food is also collected at supermarkets.

Food is sorted

Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and pack it into bags ready to be given to people in need.

Professionals identify people in need

We partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, teachers and social workers to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.

Local people receive food

People who are referred to us bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet with them over a warm drink or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.


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