How To Help
How To Support A Food Bank
According to leading food bank charity, The Trussell Trust, more people than ever are relying on food banks in the UK. Low pay and benefits, rising utility bills, interruptions in earnings, illness, debt and delays to universal credit are just some of the reasons why increasing numbers of people are struggling to feed themselves and their families.
WHY VOLUNTEER WITH A FOOD BANK?
Being unable to afford food is deeply distressing and can cause extreme stress as well as severe physical and emotional strain. Food banks help by providing emergency food supplies for people who are struggling to make ends meet. Staff may also be able to offer advice and resources to support people in poverty to find a way out.
Volunteering for a food bank is a great way to provide an essential service for people in need. Spending your time helping others can be hugely rewarding, and beneficial for you, too. You may find yourself picking up new skills and meeting interesting people along the way.
HOW TO HELP FOOD BANK CHARITIES
Volunteer At A Food Bank Centre
Food bank centres provide a vital lifeline for people who may be in crisis or in need of emergency food supplies. Centres become even busier over the winter months and at Christmas time, but they need volunteers all year round in order to operate. Whether you're making hot drinks and meals for visitors or helping pass out food parcels, there are plenty of opportunities to help.
Help At A Warehouse
Food donations need to be sorted, and this can take a huge effort depending on the size of the food bank. Whether you're receiving and organising donations or sending supplies out to various kitchens across the country, volunteering at a warehouse is a great way to help a large food bank charity.
Put Together Emergency Food Supplies
Some of the UK's leading food bank charities distribute three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. The Trussell Trust, for example, handed out a record 1.6 million of them between 2018 and 2019. Spending your time putting together food parcels is a great way to help out, as volunteers are crucial in allowing such huge numbers of packages to reach people in need.
Volunteer In An Office
Whether you're building up your CV for a career in the charity sector, want to help a good cause with your existing skills, or are looking for a way to return to a working environment, office volunteers are essential for food bank charities. Your role could involve coordinating warehouse supplies, answering phone calls and emails, or taking care of other administrative tasks.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VOLUNTEER
Some roles you can perform at food bank charities in the UK require you to become a member of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. This allows you to work directly with vulnerable people, and is usually paid for by the charity you volunteer with.
WHERE TO GET STARTED
People's Postcode Lottery is proud to support a number of UK food bank charities. The organisations below could provide you with a great place to start if you're looking to get stuck into some volunteering:
HELPING DESERVING CAUSES
If you'd like to know more about getting involved in volunteering in your community, take a look at our Local Causes page and find opportunities near you.
Last updated: 18/03/2021
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