If you need emergency food or support

If you need a food bank’s help because you have no money for food, please contact your local food bank. You can find their contact details by using our food bank finder map. 

Food banks in our network are facing difficult decisions about whether they are able to stay open. The latest government guidance explains that food banks can legally continue operating and buildings that host food banks can continue to open for those sessions provided we follow social distancing rules because this work qualifies staff and volunteers as key workers ‘caring for the vulnerable.’ However, this means making big changes to the way food bank centres work in order to keep everybody involved safe.

Each food bank in our network is a local charity, run by a community for a community, and each will be affected differently – so we’ll be working with each of them to look at what services they can offer. Until we are sure that adequate government protection against poverty is in place, food banks provide an essential community service to people unable to afford food and we will do everything we can to help them continue that role during this crisis. 

We have provided all food banks in our network with a letter for workers, to explain their role so it is clear why they’re leaving the house. Social distancing and self-isolation rules mean that volunteers who are classed as at-risk because of their age or due to a health condition must stay at home. It also means making sure there are hand-washing facilities in all food bank centres and that everyone is washing their hands regularly. Other changes to how food bank centres work might include:

  • Instead of being invited into a centre, people referred are immediately given a pre-packed food bank parcel in a practical, dignified and compassionate manner
  • Ensuring that wherever people are waiting, there is a large enough space for people to wait at least two metres apart
  • A reduced number of food bank sessions per week
  • Coordination with local agencies to give them pre-packed food bank parcels, or to deliver to people those agencies work with

The Trussell Trust will remain open and ready to support food banks in whatever decision they feel is best in their community. We will do everything we can to support food banks who feel they can continue to run in line with government guidance, as well as working with those who are unable to open to look at how we can continue to get emergency food to people in that area.

If you need support, you should check your local food bank’s website and get in touch with them to find out what services they’re currently offering or where else you can go for support if needed. If there isn’t a food bank in the Trussell Trust network near you, your nearest food bank might be independent. Please visit the Independent Food Aid Network website for more information: http://www.foodaidnetwork.org.uk/.

The Trussell Trust and its network of food banks are here to help anyone who needs support at this time. Together, we can get through this crisis – please remember that you’re not alone.