There are a few simple steps to follow.
We work with others to offer you support
We work with many different organisations and agencies to increase our reach into the community. This is so that we can guide you to the most appropriate help for your circumstances and situation. As well as issuing food vouchers our referral agencies are also able to offer support to you via their own services.
Arrange to visit a referral agency
The foodbank does not issue vouchers, so it is important that you link to us via one of our community referral agencies. They will talk with you about your situation, and if you are struggling to put food on the table, they can issue you with a foodbank voucher. Details of how this works and a list of some of our community referral agencies can be found on our foodbank voucher page.
Alternatively, if you have an existing support worker, or someone who is working with you from another organisation, e.g. housing manager, health worker, etc., we can also take referrals from them if they contact us on your behalf, by phone or email. Our contact page also has a web form that you can use to reach us directly.
Visiting the foodbank
When you arrive at the foodbank we will welcome you, and just quickly check through the details of your voucher.
“The volunteers at the foodbank were so lovely, they listened to me and made me feel human again. It was the first place I didn’t feel judged.”
Preparing your food
We may chat with you about your situation and we’ll ask about any dietary needs so we can adjust the content of the food parcel if necessary. We want to make sure that we give you the right food to meet your needs, so please let our volunteers know if you have any special dietary requirements or allergies, for example, gluten free, halal or vegetarian.
The food parcel will be sized to suit the number of people in your household, and it will contain a variety of items and provide you with at least three days of emergency food.
Whilst this is being prepared, a volunteer will offer you some refreshments, which may be a warm drink and a biscuit. They will also be available if you would like to have a chat about other issues, or concerns.
Your food parcel will be packed into supermarket carrier bags, but if you prefer you can bring your own bags and put your food into these instead.
Meeting your needs
We may also offer you additional help and signposting to support you in other ways that are appropriate for your needs.
We know that crisis can strike anyone, and we understand the difficulty of thinking about walking through a foodbank door. That’s why our volunteers aim to welcome everyone who comes to the foodbank with compassion, kindness and a listening ear.
Practical guidance and support
Foodbank volunteers take the time to listen and support you. They are trained to know about local services and offer practical guidance so that you have access to a wider range of support, helping you to break out of crisis.
We also have access to free face-to-face money and debt advice services from Lighthouse Money Advice for foodbank users, so, if you are concerned about your financial situation there is someone who can help.
Please don’t keep things to yourself, or bury your head in the sand so that things pile up, come and talk to us, we are here to listen, and to help.