Food is donated

All food given out is donated, whether by schools, churches, businesses, individuals, or through supermarket collections.

Such collections engage the public at supermarkets where they are met by volunteers who offer shoppers a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and ask them to buy an extra item with their shop. This food is then collected at the checkout before being taken to the foodbank warehouse.

 

Food is sorted and stored

At the warehouse, food is sorted by volunteers according to type and ‘best before date’. They also check it is undamaged (and that it can be used in a food parcel) and pack it into boxes and store it, ready for use. Food is then taken to foodbank centres, where it is made up into food parcels for clients.
Frontline professionals identify people in need.

Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureau staff, welfare officers, the police and probation officers, amongst others, identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.

 

Clients receive food

Clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be exchanged for three days supply of emergency food. Food parcels have been designed by dieticians to provide recipients with nutritionally balanced food. Clients are signposted to further support.

Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies who can help resolve the longer-term problem. As foodbanks are an emergency food-provision service, it is important to get clients in touch with organisations who can help them address the underlying problem.