What is a food bank?
A food bank is a local organisation which provides food packages for those in need. The demand for food banks across the country is now higher than ever, with the cost of living and the cost of food prices ever increasing. If, like many, you have never needed the help of a food bank before and now find yourself struggling to pay for your daily groceries, here is how to get a food bank referral.
Getting a food bank referral
When accessing a food bank, it is likely you will need a referral. However, this is not always the case. Some which are run by churches for example may not require one. You can apply for a referral for yourself, a family member or partner.
Referrals from Citizens Advice
If you access a food bank via the Citizens Advice, they may require you to speak with an advisor first. They will ask a few questions to qualify you for help. If you are eligible, you will then be issued with a voucher for your local food bank.
If you cannot access your local Citizens Advice Bureau, you can seek help from other organisations such as the Housing Association, council or your GP.
Using your voucher
Once a referral voucher has been granted, you can visit the assigned bank to collect your package. Most packages will contain enough food for approximately 3 days and may also contain hygiene products such as toothpaste.
Some food banks may only open certain days of the week, or your voucher may only be valid for a certain day/time period. You can ask the organisation who referred you for further information or this may be available on the food bank’s own website.
Need to use the food bank again?
If you need to use the food bank again, you will need to get a second referral. The process will be the same as the first time you enquired. Some banks may limit how many times you can access the help so it is best to be aware of if your local bank has such rules.
Help with the cost of living
If the rising cost of living has meant that you can no longer afford your groceries, we can help. Our free Cost Of Living and Help for Households guides detail all support available during this time, plus how to get free debt advice.