Poverty is not inevitable. Together, we are heroes. Together, we can create a more compassionate, just society. Together, we know this can change.

In recent weeks, we have seen more and more people needing to use a food bank. During April 2020, food banks in our network saw an 89% increase in need compared to the same period last year, with a staggering 107% increase in emergency food parcels for children. 

This isn’t right. We have been seeing rises in food bank use for the past five years, but this 89% increase – with the number of families coming to food banks doubling – is completely unprecedented. People need to be able to put food on their table.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, it’s likely that more and more people are going to need to use a food bank. Our supporters’ generosity has allowed us to provide bespoke, expert support to our food bank network, working with them to create national solutions focused on:

1. Unlocking the nation’s food supply

We’re working with supermarkets, wholesalers, and distribution services to make sure food banks have enough food. This was especially vital in recent weeks when there were drops in food donations, restrictions on purchasing food, and food shortages.

2. Recruiting and supporting volunteers

We’re working to ensure all food banks have enough volunteers to serve their community safely. Many regular volunteers have needed to be shielded or self-isolate during this crisis. So far, we’ve engaged over 11,000 new volunteers across the country to help fill the gaps.

3. Distributing crisis grants

We’ve launched a Coronavirus Emergency Crisis Grant scheme to allow food banks to apply for emergency funds for them to use to support their community in whatever way is best. These grants have allowed food banks to move to new delivery models, provide more warehouse support, and buy PPE and essential cleaning supplies to protect volunteers.

4. Making sure people can access support

We’ve launched a national helpline with Citizens Advice and a national online referral system with thousands of partners to make sure that people in financial crisis are able to access emergency support quickly and safely, wherever they are and whatever their circumstances.

5. Prioritising food bank safety

We’ve been issuing daily guidance to help keep everyone at food banks safe. We’ve supported most food banks in our network to deliver food directly to people in crisis, rather than asking people to come to food banks, making accessing help safer and quicker for everyone.

6. Calling for change

The pandemic has given us unprecedented access to the government, with weekly and even daily discussions with different departments. We’ve been speaking truth to power and campaigning for the government to provide the support needed to keep us all afloat, both now and in the future.

Our food bank heroes are amazing, but they shouldn’t be needed.

"I had occasion to need the food bank myself a few years ago and decided to repay them by donating, as well as asking if they needed volunteers – to which they said yes! I have found it a rewarding experience. You can see what a great help food banks are to those in need.”

Antony, Volunteer

"When I fell on hard times financially, it made me appreciate how easy it is for any of us to find ourselves in the position of food poverty. I love volunteering. I enjoy knowing that even in my own small way I am helping make someone else’s life a little bit easier.”

Natalie, Volunteer

“We are so lucky to work with such an amazing, diverse group of volunteers who give us an incredible amount of their valuable time and skills. They inspire us, especially in these uncertain times.”

Project Manager, East Lothian Foodbank

"Our volunteers have been absolute heroes, without whom we would not have been able to cope. ”

Project Manager, Rotherham Foodbank

Become a food bank hero

Make a regular donation

Become a food bank hero
and help us create change.

Make a single donation

However much you can give,
your generosity makes a real difference.

Thank you!