Free food banks

An increasing number of towns have food bank that people on a low income can turn to. The locations are often operated by churches or charities, and the aim is to ensure that every family, child, and older person has their needs met. They can provide emergency food, referrals to other government benefits, and in general help those individuals that are facing a hardship. Find a listing of food banks below that can help a family is struggling.

Never hesitate to use the services provided by a food bank. Hundreds of thousands of people use them every year. With the challenging economy nationwide, these centres have been important in assisting the vulnerable and low income. Many of the clients of the centres are also struggling with a reduction in their government benefits or maybe unemployment. So a key benefit to using them is that it frees up the families income to help pay for other bills and needs they may have.

The foodbank in your town can be located in different places. Many churches operate them, and one of the main organizations, the Trussel Trust, continue to also open new centres. Other charities that provide the service can include the Salvation Army. However there are many other not-for-profit organisations in towns and cities across the nation.

To learn more or to get a referral, it is best to contact a professional or social worker in your town. Many of the centres will require the individual to have a voucher and will only help someone with a referral. Call your local Civil Advice Bureau or council for these. Or even call a doctor or other social worker in your area, as they can assist as well.

Type of help available from a charity or church

What is provided by each site will vary as they rely on donations from the community. They also depend on volunteers to keep them running. Some examples of what be in the box includes tinned vegetables, meat, fruit and fish or other items including pasta, milk, tea, and cereal. The aim is to solve the emergency and help ensure no person goes hungry.

When someone is found eligible for a foodbox, they will usually receive anywhere from one to about a weeks worth of food. It will normally be non-perishable, but it will be healthy and can assist the entire family. The sites can be used multiple times per year.

Much more may be provided. They may also have hot meals for the low income or homeless. Other assistance may be special food boxes for Christmas and other basic items, such as clothing. Some food banks may use volunteers to deliver boxes to older people or someone with a physical disability in the area.

The aim is to help people break out of poverty. The emergency food is not intended to be a long term benefit, but more to help people faced with a crisis. So to help end the cycle of poverty, volunteers may also help the client with signposting and refer them to other agencies in the area. Or they get free advice on different government benefits or resources that can be used. The specific assistance provided by each location will vary.

One charity that often provides free food parcels is the Salvation Army. They have dozens of churches across the UK, and each of them offers there own form of emergency assistance. One service offered by most is either a cafe or food bank, and this allows people to get a meal or free box of groceries. Other locations have clothes, soap, toothbrushes, shampoo and other items given out as the same time as food. Find a listing of Salvation Army churches and learn more on their schemes.

Councils can also provide help to the hungry and low income. There are hundreds of local authorities across the UK that operate welfare schemes. While many types of assistance is provided, one form of assistance will provide the family with a free voucher to a local food bank. Councils also can link people to soup kitchens, free school lunch schemes for children, and other safety net programmes. Find vouchers from emergency welfare schemes that can pay for groceries.

Home delivery of meals

Some people just can’t make it to their local food bank for a free parcel or supermarket for a bag or groceries, and they just can’t prepare a healthy meal on their own. In particular, many elderly people or those with a disability struggle to keep themselves fed and healthy. To help these individuals, there are a number of councils as well as other organisations that have created a Meals on Wheels service.

The priority for these programmes is on ensuring the vulnerable remain healthy, and drivers or volunteers will bring the person a hot, healthy meal or maybe one that is frozen. Some will even deliver a food parcel that has perishable, healthy ingredients in it. While there may be a cost due for this service, the delivery is affordable and some councils or charities may offer free meals. The staff will also check up on the health of the client and provide them company. Find the organisations to call for Meals on Wheels delivery.

Find food banks by city and county

There are hundreds of centres across the nation. More information on who to call in your town is below, and there are also numerous soup kitchens to try for a free hot meal or dinner. As noted, referrals may be needed to a foodbank, so a local CAB or maybe even a church can help with that.


Northern Ireland




Gemma says:

Hi there. My name is Gemma. I was wondering if you could help me. Please direct me to a food bank. Please I got paid Friday but not enough to do my food shopping and I don’t get paid until next Friday plus I have my daughter coming to stay but if I haven’t got anything. I will have nothing to feed her with. Please help me.

Beverley Marsden says:

To whom it may concern, My name is Beverley Marsden. At the moment I am on long term sick leave. My partner works but I don’t get paid because I have not made enough contributions. When we have paid our mortgage, council tax & all are other bills we have little money to buy food and could use a voucher. We have heard you could help us to maybe get some free food please. We try are best to make sure we feed are dog but we can go days without groceries. Can you direct us to a food bank?

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