How a foodbank works
Food is donated
Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to the foodbank. All food given out by foodbanks has been donated.
Supermarket collections are one of the main ways that food is donated: These are food drives held at supermarkets where volunteers give shoppers a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and ask them to buy an extra item or two for local people in crisis.
However, if you want to donate food you do not have to wait for a collection. Food can be donated to the cafe at St Michael's Church in Broad Street, Bath.
We have a shopping list which we hand out at supermarket collections which includes all the essential items we need for an emergency food parcel. However, we are regularly short of UHT milk, juice, tinned meat and sugar and any donations of these items would be gratefully received.
Food is sorted and stored
Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and pack it into boxes ready to be given to people in need.
Frontline care professionals identify people in need
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, CAB and police 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 redeemed for three days 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.
Our foodbank also runs a rural delivery service, which takes emergency foodboxes to clients living in rural areas who cannot afford to get to a foodbank.