Donating to your local food bank: Where to go and what products to give

4 November 2020, 14:06 | Updated: 6 November 2020, 16:04

How to donate to your local food bank
How to donate to your local food bank. Picture: PA Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

How do I donate to my local food bank? Here's what you need to know to give your support...

The effect of the coronavirus outbreak has meant that food banks are being relied upon more than ever.

Over the last year, the Trussell Trust - the UK’s largest network of food banks - reported that 1.9 million emergency food parcels were delivered to those in need.

But many are now struggling to cope with demand due to insufficient supermarket supplies and a reduction in donations.

So, if you would like to help out your local food bank, here’s how to do it…

Food banks have seen increased demand
Food banks have seen increased demand. Picture: PA Images

Read More: Where to find your local food bank and how the vouchers work

How do I donate to a food bank?

Food donations are vital to give those who are struggling a balanced and nutritious supply of food.

1. You can donate directly to your local food bank.

There are more than 2,000 food banks in the UK, with around 1,200 run by the Trussell Trust and 900 by the Independent Food Aid Network UK.

You can find your local food bank on the Trussell Trust website, which gives you the option to search your postcode.

The Independent Food Aid Network UK also has a map which will tell you where their 929 independent food banks are located.

2. You can donate to collection points in supermarkets across the country

There should be a basket in your local supermarket where you can donate food to.

3. You can donate money

You can also donate money as a one off payment, or regular instalments on the Trussell Trust and Independent Food Aid Network UK websites.

What do I donate to a food bank?

Food banks provide a minimum of three days’ worth of ‘nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods’.

Typically food banks are looking for donations of food products from supermarkets, such as:

- Cereal

- Soup

- Pasta

- Rice

- Tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce

- Lentils, beans and pulses

- Tinned meat

- Tinned vegetables

- Tea/coffee

- Tinned fruit

- Biscuits

- UHT milk

- Fruit juice

On their website, the Trussell Trust encourages people to try and check what items are most needed at their local food bank on that day.

Lots of food banks will also offer essential non-food items, which includes toiletries, toilet paper, washing up liquid, sanitary towels and baby supplies.

How can I volunteer for a food bank?

You can still volunteer your time at food banks over the pandemic if you are not in the high risk group.

There are many ways to volunteer, you can check out the current roles on The Trussell Trust website.

Now Read: Full list of 'essential shops' allowed to stay open in England from Thursday