How a foodbank works:
Food is donated
The main way that food is donated is though ‘Supermarket Collections’. These collections engage the public at supermarkets where they are met by volunteers who give them a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and ask them to buy an extra item with their shop, which is then donated to the foodbank. Schools, churches, businesses and individuals also donate non-perishable, in-date food to the foodbank. All food given out by foodbanks is donated.
Food is sorted and stored
Once collected, the food is sorted by volunteers who check it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need.
Frontline professionals identify people in need
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureau staff, welfare officers, the police and proabation officers amongst others identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.
Clients receive food
Foodbank clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be exchanged for three days supply of emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies able to solve the longer-term problem.