Food banks are places where people can get food and other essential things for free. They are a bit like supermarkets, but everything is free for people who can’t afford to buy it. The food and other items in food banks is donated by other people and organised by a community group or charity.
There are around 2,000 food banks in the UK.
Often, people need a referral in order to use a food bank from an organisation that assesses their level of need. People who want to use a food bank usually need to provide information about their financial circumstances to show they need help.
Food banks provide food parcels for people to take home to cook and eat.
At FoodCycle we run Community Meals, which means we invite people to come inside, sit down and enjoy a hot, nutritious meal with us. Our three-course meals are cooked and served by friendly volunteers in a safe and welcoming environment.
Our weekly community dining service is free to everyone and not only helps tackle food poverty but it also helps alleviate loneliness by bringing the community together.
Unlike many food banks, at a FoodCycle community meal no-one is asked to prove that they need free food. We just provide a warm welcome, a delicious three-course meal and good company. We’ll also send you home with a food parcel if we have any extra food.
One of the ways to help charity food banks is to donate when you do your regular shop at a supermarket. Many supermarkets will have a box for customers to put food bank donations in.
Volunteers in food banks do things like preparing and distributing food parcels and driving to collect stock.
To find out more about how to volunteer for your local food bank, you could ask at your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau or just search online for your nearest food bank.
One of the first places to find a food bank is to ask at your local Citizens Advice Bureau. There are also a number of different charity food banks, and independent food banks which you can find online.
These websites may be a good place to start:
We’re glad you asked! We always need people to help us cook tasty meals and provide a warm welcome. We have lots of fun and flexible roles and you’ll be helping your local community.
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