Guidance for referral agencies, customers and donors

17th September 2020

The following information contains the current guidance for our referral agencies, our foodbank customers, and our donors.

Who we are

We are a locally based charity whilst part of a nationwide network of foodbanks. We provide a limited number of emergency food parcels to people experiencing a short-term food crisis.

What we do

On having your situation assessed by a professional referring agency and on receipt of a referral from the agency, we will provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable tinned and dried foods that we have purchased or that have been donated to us by people in our local community.

What we can’t provide

Due to our limited resource and finances we are unable to support people with food over a longer period of time. We will however strive to signpost those with longer-term needs to other more relevant agencies. We also don’t provide a service for those who can afford to buy food and who are shielding or in self-isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidance for Referral Agencies

To refer a customer to the foodbank, agencies should send an email to [email protected] containing the following information:

  • Full name, address, postcode and year of birth of person referred
  • Contact telephone number (to let the customer know their allocated time slot for collection)
  • Ages of everyone in the household
  • Reason for referral
  • Any special dietary requirements or food allergies of household members
  • Any extra items required, such as female sanitary products, baby supplies (please specify size of nappies) or pet food.

Paper vouchers are being phased out and replaced with electronic referrals. However, if your agency has a stock of paper vouchers these can still be issued directly to clients. After issuing a paper voucher, please ask the customer to contact the foodbank to arrange an appointment to collect their food parcel.

Please also note that our service is collection-only – we don’t provide a delivery service. However, if a customer has difficulty in attending the foodbank to collect their food we are happy for it to be collected on their behalf if they let us know in advance.

Guidance for people in need of a food package

We operate a referral-only system so if you are in short-term crisis and unable to afford to purchase food please contact your support agency (which may have to be done by telephone or email if their offices are closed due to the current circumstances) and ask them to issue a referral to us on your behalf. If you don’t have an agency which is currently supporting you, send us an email at [email protected] or use our contact form and we will attempt to put you in touch with an agency.

On receipt of a referral we will invite you to collect your food package during a specific date and time slot. It is very important to attend only during that slot as it allows us to manage social distancing and ensure the protection of our staff and volunteers and other customers. You will not be able to enter the foodbank building to collect your food. Instead you will be directed through a one-way system to a collection point where the food parcel will be handed over to you and you will then be directed to leave via the exit gate.

Your agency will not normally issue you with a paper voucher – we will usually receive your details directly from the agency. However if you do receive a paper voucher from a support agency please contact us before coming to the foodbank so we can allocate you an appointment time for collecting your food.

We would kindly ask all foodbank customers to follow the steps above and NOT to attend in person at the foodbank without a referral.

Guidance for donors

If you are an organisation or a member of the public wishing to make a donation of food to the foodbank please email [email protected] or send a message using our contact form to arrange an appointment for drop-off or collection.

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