Where can I donate food?
Food banks are becoming an all too vital and increasing necessity. There are over 2000 of them in the UK and they distribute food to those in need.
The need for food banks has been further exacerbated by the crippling COVID-19 pandemic, the end of the Universal Credit uplift in September, the end of furlough scheme and rising energy prices, the need for them is greater than ever before.
One of the UK’s leading food bank networks, the Trussell Trust reported a record-breaking demand for food parcels, distributing 2.5 million emergency food parcels between April 2020 and March 2021. In its report The impact of Covid-19 on food banks in the Trussell Trust network they noted that there has been a significant increase in the proportion of people receiving support from a food bank for the very first time - over half in April compared to one in three across January and February 2020. Families with children have been hit hardest; they made up four in ten households that needed support from food banks in April 2020, in comparison to one in three in April 2019.
The charity also added that the cut to the Universal Credit uplift could lead to more than 1 million people using food banks. The Universal Credit uplift was introduced as a response to the pandemic. It provided claimants with an additional £20 per week. Universal Credit is claimed by more than 5.8 million people in England, Scotland and Wales and the Citizens Advice Bureau has warned that the cut could drive 2.3 million people into debt.
This coupled with the largest spike in energy prices, is further increasing the necessity of food banks. The rise in prices is expected in October with around 15 million households expecting to see an increase in their energy bills by at least £139.
As food banks are preparing for what is set to be the busiest winter on record, here’s how you can help and donate food.
You can find your local food bank on the Trussell Trust website by entering your postcode https://www.trusselltrust.org/get-help/find-a-foodbank/.
Your local supermarket may also have a collection point, so it’s worth checking next time you’re in. You can also host a collection, whether it’s at home, school, work or community centre to support your local food bank. If you have some spare time, it’s also worth considering volunteering for your local food bank to help deliver the food parcels.
If you’re wondering what food items and supplies you should donate, you can check with your local food bank if there are any particular supplies they are in need of. A typical food parcel contains items like cereal, soup, pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes, tea, coffee, tinned vegetables, UHT milk.
Food waste is also a big problem in the UK so if you want to reduce yours check out these food waste apps.
If you would prefer to give a monetary donation, you can search for your local foodbank on Toucan and add them to your portfolio to make a monthly contribution and receive a regular impact statement on the impact of your giving.