How emergency food works

Providing emergency food to people in crisis.

Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple box of food makes a big difference, with foodbanks helping prevent crime, housing loss, family breakdown and mental health problems.

Food is donated

Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to a foodbank. Large collections often take place as part of celebrations like Christmas and Harvest Festival and food is also collected at supermarkets.

Food is sorted and stored

Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need. We have a dedicated team of warehouse volunteers who see in donations and ensure parcels are ready to send to our Welcome Centres.

Professionals identify people in need

Foodbanks partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors and social workers to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.

People receive food

Foodbank visitors bring their voucher to a Foodbank Welcome Centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers meet visitors over a warm drink and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.

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