What’s in a food parcel?

We’ve worked with nutritionists to make sure that the food parcels supplied by food banks in our network contain at least three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals for individuals and families. These emergency food parcels are not designed to meet long-term need – that’s why food banks also offer additional support like debt advice where possible.

A typical food parcel includes:

  • Cereal
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
  • Lentils, beans and pulses
  • Tinned meat
  • Tinned vegetables
  • Tea/coffee
  • Tinned fruit
  • Biscuits
  • UHT milk
  • Fruit juice

Food banks will also provide essential non-food items like toiletries and hygiene products where they can.

Dietary requirements

When visiting a food bank centre, one of the volunteers will run through the food parcel packing list with you to check any special dietary requirements that you may have.

If they have the facilities to do so, some food banks can also provide fresh food. Please get in touch with your local foodbank to find out more.


If you’re organising a collection for your local food bank, please check with them first to see which items they are currently in need of.