Coronavirus and food banks: your questions answered

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As the coronavirus outbreak develops, it can be difficult to know where to turn for support. We want to help you find the information you need and answer your questions so that you understand your options and what you can do.

If you have any questions we haven’t answered here, please let us know via email or social media so we can help you.


Q: What’s going on at food banks right now? Are they running out of donations? Are they closing?

Food banks are working hard to continue supporting their communities safely. Many have changed how they operate and are looking at new, innovative ways to distribute food to people in financial crisis safely during this time. We’re working closely with each and every food bank in our network to make sure that wherever possible they can continue to support people in crisis in their local communities.

As the pandemic unfolds in the UK, our main priority is ensuring the safety of everyone who comes to a food bank. It’s hard for us to say exactly how the outbreak will develop, and each food bank will be affected differently. Food banks are running low on certain items so we really encourage you to support your local food bank if you’re able to by donating supplies.

Some might be changing their opening hours or the way they operate and some have had to close their physical premises. You can find your local food bank’s website using our map and see what’s happening in your area.

Q: Are supermarkets helping food banks?

Yes! Food banks in our network are receiving support from Morrisons, Tesco, Waitrose, and Asda. This support varies from supermarket to supermarket and area to area but includes food supply, financial assistance and more. Support might include alterations to purchasing restrictions, specific shopping slots, donation points in supermarkets, or direct financial donations. Visit our News page for more information.

Q: I’m self-isolating but need food. Can I get it delivered from a food bank?

If you can afford food but can’t get to the shops because you’re self-isolating, you should contact your local council or Citizens Advice for help.

If you’re unable to afford food, you should get in touch with your local food bank for help. They’ll be able to explain to you how to access emergency food in your area. Find yours here:

Q: All my local referral agencies have closed – what do I do?

Contact your local food bank for advice on what to do next if your local referral agency is closed or you can’t get in touch with them. Many referral agencies will have changed their ways of working in order to provide services safely during this time, and your local food bank will be aware of these changes and be able to help you get in touch with the right people. Find your local food bank here:

Q: How can I help food banks?

You can donate food, support us financially, volunteer, or support the Trussell Trust online to raise awareness of what needs to happen now. We’re doing everything we can to support the food banks in our network and continuing our work to create a future where food banks are no longer needed. Any support you can offer makes a real difference. Find out more about how you can help here: