Privacy Policy

The Trussell Trust is a data controller registered with the UK Information Commissioner’s Office registration number Z279027X.

Keeping your personal information safe is very important to us.  We are committed to complying with privacy and data protection laws and being transparent about how we use personal data.

We have policies, procedures, and training in place to help our team understand their data protection responsibilities and follow the principles of data protection.

We have a nominated member of staff who serves as our Data Protection Lead. If you have any questions regarding our Privacy Policy, please email [email protected].

This privacy policy relates to personal information that the Trussell Trust collects and uses. The Trussell Trust supports a network of over 1,200 food bank centres throughout the UK which together make up the Foodbank Network. With the exception of Brent and Coventry Foodbanks, food banks within the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network are independent charitable organisations collecting personal information for their own use and therefore have their own privacy policies and are registered separately with the Information Commissioner’s Office.

How we collect personal information

We may collect your personal information from you directly from you when you:

  • communicate with us for any reason, by post, telephone, text, email, or via our website
  • make a donation to the Trussell Trust or one of our shops
  • donate food to a food bank or are referred to a food bank for support
  • participate in a survey or research
  • work or make an application to work or volunteer with us
  • agree to help us promote our work
  • interact with us as a supplier, contractor, consultant, or in any other capacity.

We may also collect personal information about you from other organisations. For example, this might be from a food bank within the Foodbank Network, a referral agency like a doctor’s surgery, a trade union, or from your current or past employer.

The personal information that we collect

We only collect personal information that we genuinely need.

This may include:

  • Contact details such as name, address, email address, and phone numbers
  • Date of birth and gender
  • Nationality
  • Any information that you give us or a food bank within the Foodbank Network relating to your circumstances and why you used a food bank
  • Information that you provide when you donate food at a food bank
  • Financial information that you provide to us
  • Other information about you from publicly available sources, like the electoral roll
  • For job and volunteer applicants:
    • your bank account details and tax and residency status
    • references from previous employers or educational institutions
    • contact details for your family members and next of kin
    • qualifications
    • information concerning your health and medical conditions
    • information about your race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation
    • details of criminal convictions.

Our legal basis for processing personal information

Our legal basis for processing personal information is usually for our legitimate interests, if we have your consent, for the performance of a contract or to meet our legal obligations.

We may collect and use your personal data if it is necessary for our legitimate interest and so long as its use is fair, balanced, and does not unduly impact your rights.

We will ask for your consent to send you marketing emails and text messages. You can withdraw consent for this at any time.

Usually we will only process sensitive personal data if we have your explicit consent. In extreme situations, we may share your personal details if we believe someone’s life is at risk.

We may process personal information because it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party (or to take steps at your request prior to entering a contract), or because we are legally obliged to do so (for example to meet employment or charity laws).

Why we collect personal information

We collect and use personal information about people who use food banks, people who support the Trussell Trust and/or food banks in the network, job applicants, and volunteers for a number of reasons.

Supporting the Foodbank Network

Food banks in our network operate as separate organisations. We collect personal information from staff, trustees, and volunteers at food banks to be able to support them in their day-to-day operations. Our legal basis for this is legitimate interest.

Assisting people that use food banks

We collect personal information from you directly if you use a food bank, or via an organisation that refers you to a food bank. Our legal basis for using this information is our legitimate interest, and where appropriate your consent. We use this information to respond to your need for help, and ensure that we are providing help when and where it is most needed. We also work with food banks within our network to use anonymised statistical data to campaign at a national level to challenge the structural issues that lock people into poverty.

Developing relationships with supporters

The Trussell Trust’s work is made possible by the generosity of our supporters. We need a good understanding of our supporters so that we can communicate with them effectively and appropriately.

We may research our supporters to develop a better understanding of their interests and actions in support of our work. Sometimes we use specialist agencies who act on our behalf to enable us to tailor and target our events and communications effectively to people most likely to be interested. We may also use the research to wealth screen our financial supporters in order to make appropriate requests to people who have the means and the desire to give more.

The Trussell Trust may use the services of third parties to:

  1. Cleanse and match data using databases (such as the Gone Away Suppression File, GAS Reactive and The Bereavement Register) to ensure our personal data is as accurate and up to date as possible
  2. Analyse the personal data we hold in order to segment our supporters and enable us to communicate more effectively with them
  3. Undertake research using publicly available data sources (such as the Electoral Register, Companies House, public social media accounts such as LinkedIn, company websites, political and property registers, and news archives) to supplement the personal data we already have and enable us to better understand our supporters interests

You have the right to opt-out from this activity at any time. If you would prefer us not to use your personal information in this way, please email us at

Processing donations

If you kindly make a food donation to a food bank, a financial donation to us, or donate goods to one of our shops, we will use your personal information to collect your donation and maintain a record of our supporters. Our legal basis for using your personal information for this purpose is to fulfil our legal obligations, and our legitimate interest in meeting our fundraising objectives. We are legally required by HMRC to collect some personal information if you choose to gift aid your donation.

Dealing with complaints and appeals

If a complaint is raised with us, we will process the personal information that is provided to us to manage and resolve the complaint or appeal. This may include sharing relevant information with the food bank or person that the complaint has been made about. Our legal basis for using personal information for this purpose is legitimate interest. Where a complaint is about a third party, we will seek your consent before sharing your information.

Promoting our work

We will use personal information that you share with us if you agree to help us promote our work. This might include photographs and videos. For example, we may use your information in case studies and stories that we publish or share with the media. We will only use your information for this purpose if you have given your consent for us to do so.

Carrying out surveys and research

If you choose to take part in one of our surveys, we will use the personal information that you provide to process the results of the survey and undertake analysis. We may use a university or other academic institution or organisation to undertake analysis of survey responses.  Survey results are anonymised before being shared or published.

Employee administration and development

We will process personal information of our employees to fulfil our contract with them and to meet our legal obligations as an employer. This includes payroll processing and the provision of training. We are required by law to share some financial information with the HMRC. We may also need to share some personal information with other organisations (for example solicitors or pension providers).

Employee recruitment

If you provide us with information about yourself, such as a resume or curriculum vitae, in connection with a job application or enquiry, we may use this information to process your enquiry. We will not store this information for any purpose other than that relating to your application. Our legal basis for using your information in this way is for our legitimate interest. A full privacy statement for job applicants is included in the recruitment pack.

Volunteer Management

Where you apply to be a volunteer with the Trussell Trust or one of the food banks in the network, your personal information will be held securely on our Volunteer Management System (VMS).  We will keep you up to date on opportunities across the Trussell Trust and the Foodbank Network as well as giving you chance to share your feedback and tell us more about your experience of volunteering. Our lawful basis for using your personal information in this way is our legitimate interest, and where appropriate your consent.

Where you express an interest in volunteering at a local food bank, your data may be passed onto the appropriate food banks within the FoodbankNetwork. Your personal information will then also be held by that food bank in line with legislation and their own data protection policy.

Undertaking safeguarding activities including DBS checks

When necessary, we process relevant personal information about employees and volunteers for safeguarding purposes. This might include undertaking DBS and other checks to identify any criminal and other activity we need to be aware of. It may be necessary to share some personal information with relevant authorities such as the police. Our legal basis for this processing is to meet our legal obligations.

Processing expenses

We will use your personal information including your bank account details to process expense claims. Our legal basis for using your information for this is for the performance of a contract.


We process relevant personal information about existing and potential trustee members for governance purposes. This might include checks to identify any criminal and other activity we need to be aware of to ensure that we select appropriate trustees. Our legal basis for this processing is to meet our legal obligations with the Charity Commission and Companies House.

Sharing personal information

We will only share your personal information where we need to, where someone’s life is at risk or we are required to do so by law.

We may share your personal information with third party organisations who will process it on our behalf (for example a mailing house, our website administrator, or a printing supplier).

We may also share your information with our bank to process a payment; our professional advisers (such as our legal advisers) where it is necessary to obtain their advice; and our IT service providers and data storage providers.

We may also share your personal data with other food banks in the Foodbank Network, who will use the personal data for the purposes described in this privacy notice.

Where required, we will process personal information to comply with our legal obligations. In this respect we may share your personal data to comply with subject access requests; tax legislation; for the prevention and detection of crime; and to assist the police and other competent authorities with investigations including criminal and safeguarding investigations.

Transferring personal data outside of the EEA

We may transfer personal data we collect about you to the third parties described above who are located outside of the country or region in which you are resident. In such cases, we will take appropriate measures to ensure your personal data remains protected to the standards described in this privacy notice. For example, by entering into contractual agreements based on the EU Commission’s standard contractual clauses or relying on Corporate Binding Rules ensuring our processors comply with similar standards of data protection law to that of the UK. If you have any questions or need more information regarding international transfers of your personal data, please contact us at [email protected] .

Cookies and aggregate information collected from our website

We use cookies and s to store information about how you use our sites. A cookie is a piece of data stored on the user’s computer tied to information about the user.  This enables us to create a profile which details your viewing preferences. We use your profile to tailor your visit to our website, make navigation easier, and direct you to information that best corresponds to your interests and country.

Aggregate information is collected from users using our own web tracker. This information includes users’ Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time of visit, number of clicks, error pages, and number of unique visits. This information is not linked to personal profiles or to personally identifiable information provided by users. We use it to analyse visitor trends and use of our website, administer the website and to gather broad demographic information of our website users. To view our cookies policy visit

Your rights

If you no longer wish to receive communications about products and services from us, please contact [email protected].

You can also unsubscribe at any time to emails that we may send to you about the products and services that we think will be of interest to you. A link to unsubscribe from all direct marketing will be included in any communications.

You also have the right to:

  • Ask us for copies of your personal information. This right always applies. There are some exemptions, which means you may not always receive all the information we process.
  • Tell us to change or correct your personal information if it is incomplete or inaccurate.
  • Ask us to restrict our processing of your personal data or to delete your personal data if there is no compelling reason for us to continue using or holding this information.
  • Receive from us the personal information we hold about you which you have provided to us, in a reasonable format specified by you, so that you can send it to another organisation.
  • Object, on grounds relating to your specific situation, to any of our processing activities where you feel this has a disproportionate impact on you.

For all requests please contact us at [email protected]. We will respond to any request within 28 days.

Please note that we may be entitled to refuse requests where exceptions apply; for example, if we have reason to believe that the personal data we hold is accurate or we can show our processing is necessary for a lawful purpose set out in this Privacy Policy.

How long we keep your personal information

We will hold your personal information only for as long as is necessary. We will not retain your personal information if it is no longer required. In some circumstances, we may legally be required to retain your personal information, for example for finance, employment, or audit purposes.

A summary of our retention periods is available below.

People who need help from a food bank Your personal information is stored in a secure database for six years
People who donate food at a food bank Where you provide personal information alongside your food donation, your personal information is stored in a secure database for three years.
People signing up to a campaign Your personal information is stored in a secure database for up to two years.
Financial donors Your personal information is stored in a secure database for seven years.
Volunteers If your application is unsuccessful, your information will be held for six months, if you stop volunteering it will be held for twelve months.
Survey and research participants Twelve months after survey is completed. Then results are anonymised.
Representatives of referral agency partners Two years after the date of the last referral made .
Representatives of food banks in the network Twelve months after a person ceases to be connected to a food bank.
Complainants Six years if the complaint is upheld, three years if the complaint is not upheld.
Employees Seven years after employment ceases.


Changes to this policy

This Privacy Policy may change from time to time. Where practical we will provide you with an updated Privacy Policy from time to time. However, we also recommend that you please visit this webpage periodically to keep up to date with the changes in our Privacy Policy.

This policy was last updated on 10th November 2020.

Making a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office

If you are not satisfied with our response to any query you raise with us, or you believe we are processing your personal data in a way which is inconsistent with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office whose helpline number is: 0303 123 1113.