How to donate to a food bank and where to find one near me
FOOD banks throughout Britain offer free emergency essentials to people webster bank terryville ct hours are struggling to make ends meet.
In the UK, more than 14 million people are living in poverty – including 4.5 million children.
More than 1.2 million food parcels were given out by Trussel Trust food banks between April 1 and September 30 this year.
With redundancies on the rise and the economy in recession, these vital services have never been as critical for struggling families.
Here's where to find your nearest food bank, how to volunteer and which foods you can give as donations:
How do I find a food bank near me?
One of the easiest ways to find a local food bank is through the The Trussel Trust - a network representing over 1,200 food banks throughout the country.
The trust provides families in crisis with a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced food, either with vouchers or an emergency parcel.
HOW TO GET HELP IF YOU'RE STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET
Here's a list of resources that can help you if you are struggling
- Organise a food parcel - by ringing Citizens Advice in the UK (0808 208 2138) or Advice NI in Ireland (0800 915 4604).
- Get advice - both Citizens Advice and Advice NI can also offer wide help around navigating benefits and grants.
- Check what you are entitledto - Use the Turn2Us benefits calculator to see what you are eligible for and how much you can get.
- Look for grants - The Trussel Trust allows you to search for grants just by using your postcode.
- Manage debts - If you're struggling with debts, contact a charity such as StepChange or the National Debtline for help.
To find the nearest Trussel Trust food bank near you, use their online search tool.
The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) is another group of food aid providers, including food banks.
You can check for the closest in its network using this interactive map.
Bankuet also allows you to search online to find a local option.
How can I donate to a local food bank
There are two main ways to donate to food banks, either by providing food or money.
If you'd prefer to offer cash, you can make a one-off donation or set up a direct debit.
All the major charities including the Trussel Trust and IFAN allow you to make donations via their websites, or you can donate directly to your local bank.
What's in a typical food parcel?
- Tinned tomatoes / Pasta sauce
- Lentils, beans and pulses
- Tinned meat
- Tinned vegetables
- Tinned fruit
- UHT milk
- Fruit juice
If you want to give food, you can drop it off at your local food bank, at a donation point in supermarkets across the country or by hosting a collection at your school, church or workplace.
If you're donating food then you should focus on nutritional items with a long shelf life.
See the box above for a list of typical goods in an emergency food parcel.
Essential non-food items like toiletries and hygiene products are also needed.
The Trussel Trust also advises checking with your local food bank to see what supplies they currently need most.
Bankuet allows the food banks it represents to request items they need, it then using your donations to buy these items.
This means it can make sure that money is used in the best way to help each individual bank.
The Foodbank App also allows its bank members to flag the items they need most. This means that donators can make sure they buy the right things.
How can I volunteer at a food bank?
You should contact your closest food bank if you want to volunteer in any capacity.
They are always in need of willing volunteers, no matter how much time you have to give.
Again, you can find your nearest through the Trussel Trust, IFAN or Bankuet.
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How you can find and donate to a food bank near you
Where can I donate to a food bank?
It’s easy to donate to a food bank and most communities will have a food bank in one form or another.
The Trussell Trust is the UK’s biggest network of food banks. The organisation supports more than 1,400 across the country and has a map on its website where you can find the one that’s nearest to you, making it easy to donate directly by simply delivering the items you want to give.
Meanwhile, the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) bank of america open right now a group of nearly 930 grassroots food banks supporting communities across the UK. You can find your local IFAN venue using this interactive map or by getting in touch with [email protected] for more information on how to donate.
And online tools like Bankuet and Foodbank App can also be used to find your local food bank as well as discovering what resources they most urgently need.
Most supermarket chains have a food bank collection box in their bigger stores making it easy to donate while doing your weekly shop.
If you can’t collect and donate items, most food banks happily accept cash contributions. Services like the Trussell Trust, IFAN and other local food banks can be donated to online, either as a one-off or on a recurring basis.
Donations don’t have to be huge. It can just mean buying a few extra items in your weekly shop or donating cash to help food banks buy the items they know locals really need.
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What can you donate to a food bank?
The main thing to bear in mind is that whatever you give may be stored for some time before it goes to those who need it. Avoid things jp morgan chase bank locations fresh fruit and veg, fish, meat and dairy products as it might go bad and the food bank is unlikely to accept it.
The full list from The Trussell Trust of food you can donate to a food bank includes: cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, pasta sauce, lentils, beans and pulses, tinned meat, tinned vegetables, tea or coffee, tinned fruit, biscuits, UHT milk, and fruit juice. Most food banks have clear guidance on what they put in a parcel, meaning deciding what to donate is simple.
Do food banks need toiletries?
When it comes to non-food items you can donate to a food bank, this can include deodorant, toilet paper, shower gel, shaving gel, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, tooth paste, hand wipes, sanitary towels and tampons.
Many also accept household items such as laundry powder or liquids and washing up liquid, as well as baby supplies like nappies, baby wipes and baby food.
It is worth remembering that luxury items many of us take for granted are out of the question for people struggling to put food on the table. Stick to the lists put together by food banks to ensure you are helping combat hunger, but some services have bonus tables where treats are given out – especially in the run-up to Christmas – if you decide to donate something special alongside the essentials.
Do food banks charge for food?
Food banks are grassroots services designed to help people in the community who may be struggling to pay for food. Schools, churches and community centres often set up collections for food banks or donation schemes and so do big supermarkets and charities, collecting essential items for people who can’t afford them.
People who need support are referred to food banks by doctors, social workers or Citizens Advice and receive a voucher they can exchange for three days’ worth of emergency food at a local food bank. Before being referred they will be asked about their needs, their income and how many people they are supporting – so advisers know if they should be referred for enough food to feed a family.
Not all food banks require a voucher but most do only help people who have been referred. The idea that lots of people go to food banks for free groceries is a myth – many users report shame and stigma around needing food aid and most people only seek a referral after having no income for at least a month, according to Turn2us.
A voucher is exchanged for an emergency food parcel typically containing at least three days’ worth of food. If someone needs to use a food bank, they will normally need to seek another referral.
When they go to collect their food they will often be offered a cup of tea and a chat to see if there is any other help they may need. Food banks exist to meet the immediate need for food but many volunteers try to connect people in need with other support services.
Why you should donate to a food bank
The number of people forced to rely on food banks has soared by 128 per cent between 2016 and 2021, according to Trussell Trust figures.
The food aid charity gave out 2.5 million emergency food parcels last year – a 1.5 million increase since 2016 – with nearly a million of those going to children, amounting to two every minute.
Emergency food demand jumped 33 per cent between 2019 and 2020 after pandemic redundancies, income cuts and increased living costs pushed thousands into poverty, the figures showed.
Parcels are usually designed to last three days, but one in 10 of those handed out last year were made to feed someone for seven days, increasing the volume of food given away by 53 per cent between 2019 and 2020.
Around 5.5 million people are relying on universal credit to get by, which is to be cut by £1,040 per year in October. It’s likely to push half a million people into poverty, analysts estimated, including 200,000 children.
It is uncertainty which will lead to a surge in demand for food banks, experts said.
While anti-poverty campaigners lobby for long-term solutions – like making the universal credit increase permanent, lifting the benefit cap and ending the two-child limit – there remains an immediate need for people to get food even when they can’t afford it.
Is food the answer?
Food banks hand out emergency parcels to meet an immediate need: the thousands of people across the country who would not have anything to eat that day otherwise.
But many food banks agree: food poverty can’t be separated from poverty, and food handouts are not the answer to the UK’s poverty problem. They want the government walmart money card account login strengthen the benefits system and improve low pay across the country to make sure people can afford food in the first place.
Sabine Goodwin, coordinator for IFAN, told The Big Issue: “The buck cannot stop at the doors of food banks.”
Some could be forced into the “unthinkable position” of not even being able to offer reduced parcels to people unable to afford the bare essentials, she added.
“This is never going to be resolved by food,” Goodwin said.
Food banks are also receiving fewer donations from the public nearest food bank to recent months, Goodwin added, and are operating with fewer and nearest food bank volunteers. Those remaining are “exhausted”.
“People are going back to work. That moment of Blitz spirit has best high yield savings rates she said. “Some food banks might be alright now but the system is so fragile, when the expected surge in demand comes they won’t be prepared.
“This impossible scenario cannot be imposed on charitable food aid providers when the solution is so clear,” she added
She said ministers must reinstate the £20 per week to universal credit and working tax credits. The cut, amounting to a £1,040 annual loss for claimants, could push 500,000 people into poverty, anti-poverty charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said.
IFAN also wants ministers to increase legacy benefits – claimed mostly by disabled people and which did not receive the same £20 increase during the pandemic – as well as ensure the “social security system is fit for purpose” and “fast-track decent wages and job security for all”.
IFAN is working with dozens of local authorities to implement a “cash-first” approach to ending demand for food aid, signposting people struggling to afford food to sources of financial support.
This means distributing leaflets to food bank users as well as campaigning for jobs to pay the real living wage, and for food poverty to be tackled through increased incomes on a national scale.
Food banks across the borough
Food banks are open across the borough for those who need them. Please find a list below of both food banks and other forms of community food support, where they operate and details of how to contact them.
Beacon food bank - Havant Central
Address: Nearest food bank Beacon, 69-73 Meridian Centre, Havant, Hampshire, PO9 1UN.
The Beacon food bank continues to serve those in genuine need of food support through this time of coronavirus emergency.
For more information or if you would like to make a referral, please contact Liz Ascua by email [email protected] or phone 07718 424618.
PO9 food bank - mainly Leigh Park area
To request a food parcel or for further information please contact Darren McKenna by email [email protected] or phone 07593 261 200.
Did you know you can support the PO9 food bank via the Havant Borough Community Lottery.
The Bridge Church Food Bank - Hayling Island
Address: The Bridge Church, 67 Beach Road, Hayling Island, PO11 0JD
For more information or if you would like to make a referral, please contact Barry King by phone 023 9246 8835.
Hayling Island Community Centre food bank
Address: Station Rd, Hayling Island PO11 0HB
Open Monday and Thursday, from 9am -1pm. Apply to the food bank by completing a short form in person at the community centre (lockdown dependent) or over the phone. Contact Tania by calling 07799134826 or emailing [email protected] or Emily by calling 07554141348 or emailing [email protected]
Waterlooville Food bank - Waterlooville, including Wecock Farm
Located in Wecock Church Kite Close and are open Mondays 09.30-11.30am and Friday 12noon-2pm where collections and donations can be made.
For more information or if you would like to make a referral, please contact Debbie Dark by email [email protected] or phone 07554267898.
New Life Foundation Food bank - Chichester through to Bedhampton
Individuals can self-refer. Referrals can also be made by health visitors, schools, councils, housing and other individuals who are concerned about a friend or neighbour.
For more information or if you would like to make a referral, please contact Esther Ellis by email [email protected] or phone 07835441076.
Other forms of community food support
Address: The Kestrels, Wecock Community Association, 3 Waterlooville PO8 9UX.
The Acorn Centre works with the food bank and provides food for children during the holidays so long as funds are available.
For more information, please phone 023 9225 8423.
Free my meal
Created during the global pandemic in August 2020 by former single mum Hayley Steere, Free My Meal aims to connect those who need a meal with those who are willing to cook one. It’s a simple and easy exchange, and you can be involed as either a ‘recipient’ or a ‘cook’, or in some cases, both. The service is suitable for anyone who finds themselves in need of a meal and not having the means to buy the food to make one.
You can connect through private Facebook groups such as the Havant and Hayling group, or you can request and offer meals by completing forms on the website.
Any questions or queries can be emailed to [email protected]
Munch - Havant and local area
Address: Park Community School, Middle Park Way, Havant PO9 4BU
No referral necessary. Munch runs from Park Community School and food can be collected directly from the school.
The living wage raise isn’t the win it’s being painted as — here’s why
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a boost to the National Living Wage in his recent Budget.
From next April, the new rate will be £9.50 an hour for anyone aged 23 and over — a 6.6% increase on current levels.
At first sight, it feels like a massive improvement. But the reality is very different. The National Living Wage isn’t actually a living wage. The name is just a bit of spin cooked up by former Chancellor George Osborne back in 2016.
Instead, it’s a legal minimum employees must be paid. And this minimum isn’t enough.
Today the Living Wage Foundation is revealing the latest figures calculated from current living costs. This is what people actually need to earn to cover their daily expenses, from supermarket shopping and rent through to child care and petrol.
For London, this true figure stands at £11.05 an hour, and for elsewhere in the UK it’s £9.90 an hour. The difference between this and £9.50, especially in London, is huge. For someone working full-time, the shortfall results in £3,022 less than is needed next year in the capital and £780 outside.
And this is just for people aged 23 and above. Those younger or on apprenticeships will earn less.
The higher level for the real living wage is voluntary, so it’s on employers to choose to hike pay beyond the statutory minimum. Close to 9,000 have signed up to the scheme, but it would be great to see even more commit to fair pay.
And there are plenty that could, with 4.8million workers (roughly one in six) currently earning less than the level suggested by the Living Wage Foundation.
Of course, employers will need to find the money to pay these higher salaries. After a turbulent 20 months, many retail and leisure businesses are operating on a knife-edge and paying employees more could be a struggle.
For those companies, it may be the additional costs end up passed on to consumers. But for those enjoying any sustained profits, it’s only right they reward the workers helping them bring in the cash.
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Starling Nearest food bank
Interest: 15%, 25% or 35% (depending on credit score)
For more details on these and other overdrafts, head to becleverwithyourcash.com/banks
Cut back your overdraft costs
Ever use your overdraft? With the majority of banks charging close to a huge 40% in interest for going into the red, it’s actually one of the most expensive ways to borrow cash.
Ideally you’ll want to avoid it completely, or use any savings you have to wipe out this debt — you will save more money than you’d make. But if that’s not possible you could look at a current account with a cheaper overdraft. See the table below for some suggestions.
Andy’s who to follow: #FoodBankAdvent
A little different this week. Rather than a person to follow, I’m sharing a hashtag I want you to use — #FoodBankAdvent.
This is where you can join in and share your progress in a campaign from UK Money Bloggers to support donations to food banks in the run-up to Christmas.
The idea is simple. Every day for 24 or 25 days you snap a picture of an item you’ve bought. Then in early December you drop the full collection off at your nearest food bank.
Your tweets and stories will hopefully encourage friends and family to join in, and boost much- needed supplies.
Andy’s top #FoodBankAdvent tip:
Look on social media to find out what your food bank needs. They might be brimming with beans but short of shower gel.
Andy Webb is an award-winning blogger and podcaster from Be Clever With Your Cash. Follow Andy on Twitter and Instagram
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
MORE : ‘Real living wage’ tops £11 an hour in London as 300,000 get pay rise
MORE : Interest rates: Why the era of cheap money is finally ending and what that means for you
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Baskets, backpacks, to-go meals: How thousands in region will be fed this Thanksgiving
This year, a Thanksgiving meal for a group of 10 will cost, on average, more than $53.
The estimate from the American Farm Bureau Federation is 14% higher than a year ago, and the highest in the survey’s 36 years.
Now, estimate how much it would cost to feed a group of 1,500.
“The cost for turkey dinner is almost double from what it was last year,” said Frankie Flowers, a Poughkeepsie community activist. “And, there's not as much. All the stores are saying they're having a hard time getting food.”
And yet, Flowers is among a number of individuals and organizations around the region who will be serving meals Thursday and have been packing up meals to send home to those in need in recent days.
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Despite the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen the number of those seeking support services grow and has necessitated increased safety measures, thousands will be fed this year at various events.
Flowers’ Thursday event was created last year to take the place of a charitable gathering that ran for 35 years, the Eileen Hickey holiday dinners, which have been cancelled for the second consecutive year. Each year on Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Hickey dinners would serve roughly a thousand in Poughkeepsie.
Instead, Flowers and his crew of volunteers — Flowers has continued the work started by his father, John Flowers, who left a legacy of community giving at special events when he died in 2015 — will be at the Family Partnership Center in the city handing out to-go prepared meals. Dan Hickey, who, along with Flowers, was one of the organizers of the Hickey dinners, which are named for his late wife, will provide the food, and Poughkeepsie-based food prep company Fuel4Life will prepare it, Flowers said.
“We're going to package it all down there (at Fuel4Life), and then we're going to hand it out at the Family Partnership Center, like we did last year, in to-go containers,” Flowers said.
On Sunday, Flowers and a group of volunteers delivered roughly 750 Thanksgiving food baskets from MAG Auto Corp in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
"(Our volunteers) want to keep people from feeling like there is no hope — keep things positive and on the up and up and maybe give that extra push to let others know that someone cares about them," Flowers said.
The need for such events is evident. Hudson River Housing earlier this month noted it continues to see the number of people seeking emergency housing increase, as has been the case throughout the pandemic. In addition to the roughly 600 rentals it manages with people in need to consistent housing, the agency estimates it provides emergency shelter to around 110 each night another 20-30 receive housing from the county Department of Community and Family Services.
Not all the people who are in need of Thanksgiving assistance are homeless; roughly 28% of Dutchess households were above the federal poverty line but not making enough money to meet basics everyday needs, according to a United Way of New York report released last year using statistics from 2018.
Meal giveaway programs
The Thanksgiving event will follow several individual efforts to send food home to families., including one Wednesday at the Poughkeepsie Salvation Army Corps at 19 Pershing Ave., where meals nearest food bank be distributed from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Common Ground Farm in Beacon each year backs up backpacks full of produce and a coupon for a free turkey at a local grocery store to send home with students in need in the Beacon City School District.
Youth Mission Outreach in Poughkeepsie on Saturday gave out 29 Thanksgiving meal baskets at Needle in the Haystack Thrift store in Poughkeepsie.
Newburgh Loaves and Fishes’ massive annual giveaway proceeded this year despite problems in the supply chain making some items more expensive or hard to find. The interfaith distribution planned to hand out 700 turkeys weighing 10 to 12 pounds each on Saturday; it estimated the cost in turkeys alone at $10,000.
They also contended with a run on rice, increasing costs of canned goods and an apparent scarcity of instant mashed potatoes.
"Availability is the struggle," said Paul Zalanowski, who runs the Deacon Jack Seymour Food Pantry with his wife, Linda, at Sacred Heart Church in Newburgh that hosts Loaves and Fishes.
Deacon Irma Bahr-Madrid, chair of Newburgh Loaves and Fishes, said 100 of their turkeys were to be donated by local organizations and the other 600 came from the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
In the past two months, grocery store prices have risen, pushing more people to look for help feeding their families, according to information provided by Molly Nicol, CEO of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.
The food bank is a branch of the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York and a member of the national food bank network Feeding America. It provides supplies to area agencies, pantries and food programs for children and seniors.
Meats, in general, have been hard for the food bank to come by lately. It has also struggled to get butter, cheese and graham crackers, according to Nicol.
Those shortages have forced the food bank to source alternative supplies, such as turkey breasts, chicken, different cuts of meat nearest food bank Nutri-Grain bars instead of graham crackers, all at a higher cost, Nicol nearest food bank wanted
Before the live giveaway in Poughkeepsie Thursday, Flowers handed out baskets of complete but uncooked meals Sunday, and, with the help of volunteers, he anticipated making 1,400 deliveries of meals around the region in all.
Flowers said finding delivery drivers is a challenge and was seeking volunteers. He said when it comes to volunteering and donating, any and all help is appreciated, for whatever task they are nearest food bank never going to turn someone away,” he said. “No matter how many volunteers we have, we'll find something for them to do.”
People, in fact, may be the resource in most short supply for area food banks. The Food Bank of the Hudson Valley is looking to hire drivers and warehouse workers to handle its stock.
“There's a ton of warehouses, including Amazon, and they're all offering bonuses and the like to have drivers and warehouse workers,” Sara Gunn, director of the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, said. “So, we're all sort of fighting for the same pool of workers right now.”
In addition to an evergreen need for monetary donations, Gunn said the food bank can also use volunteers beyond the holiday season.
“In January and February, that’s the time when we're a little bit short on volunteers,” Gunn said. “You're getting into the depths of winter and everything, so that's really the time when we really could use people supporting us.”
To find your closest food pantry, visit regionalfoodbank.net/find-nearest-agency/ or call 845-534-5344. To volunteer for Flowers’ charity events on Thanksgiving or beyond, visit his Facebook page at facebook.com/frankie.flowers.71.
Staff writer Lana Bellamy contributed to this report.