Emergency Food

Food banks provide a minimum of three days’ emergency food and support to people in crisis

Food banks work with frontline professionals to identify people in need and issue them with a food bank voucher. These include local agencies such as children’s centres, housing associations, advice charities and mental health teams, who are best placed to assess need.

Once a person is referred, they can bring the voucher to their nearest food bank centre, where it can be exchanged for a parcel containing a minimum of three days’ nutritionally balanced food.

Food banks are designed to provide short-term, emergency support with food during a crisis. Their aim is to relieve the immediate pressure of the crisis by providing food, while also providing additional support to help people resolve the crises that they face.

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How to get help from a food bank

Call our free helpline

If you are in financial crisis and live in England or Wales, please call 0808 2082138 for free (open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm) to talk confidentially to a trained Citizens Advice adviser. They will help address your crises and provide support to maximise your income, help you navigate the benefits system and identify any additional grants you could be entitled to. If needed, they’ll issue you with a voucher so you can get an emergency food parcel from your local food bank.

Get in touch with your nearest food bank

Your local food bank will be able to tell you which referral agencies they work with in your area and how you can get a voucher.

Find your nearest food bank