How food banks work

As a nation, we know it isn’t right that anyone should be left hungry or living in extreme poverty. But whilst we work for long-term change, our network of food banks provides emergency food and compassionate, dignified support to people locked in crisis.

how-foodbanks-work

There are over 1,200 food bank centres in our network. The services provided by food banks may vary from area to area as they react to the needs of their community to provide help and support to local people in crisis.

Food donations

Non-perishable, in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as schools, churches, and businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. It is then sorted into emergency food parcels by more than 28,000 volunteers, to be given to people in crisis.

Food vouchers

Care professionals such as health visitors, staff at schools and social workers identify people in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher. This means people can receive a food bank parcel of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food from their local food bank.

Additional support

Our food bank network helps people break free from poverty by providing additional support to help people resolve the crises they’re facing so that they don’t need to use a food bank again in the future. This could include things like debt advice, mental health support, or benefits guidance . Food banks rely on the support of their local communities to support people in crisis.  Find your nearest food bank here.