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.
How to get help from a food bank
1. Get in touch with your nearest food bank
Either by telephone or email and explain your situation. The food bank will be able to tell you which referral agencies they work with in your area and how you can get a voucher.
2. Arrange a conversation with the referral agency suggested by the food bank
This is an opportunity for you to explain the difficulties you’re facing, and to access help and support. If helpful, the agency can give you a food voucher.
3. Take the voucher to your nearest food bank centre
Once at the food bank, you will be welcomed by trained volunteers who will sit down with you to discuss your needs, provide a food parcel and help you find support to resolve the difficulties that have led to you needing to use the food bank.
Please note that you’ll need a food voucher in order to receive help from the food bank.