The Stretford foodbank has been established to provide short term, emergency food to an individual or family in crisis while a long-term strategy is developed. Normally enough food for 3 days (one voucher) should be sufficient to cover the immediate crisis, while the normal support agencies arrange to meet the client’s needs.
Food is donated
All food given out is donated by schools, churches, businesses, individuals or through supermarket collections. Such collections engage the public at supermarkets where they are met by volunteers who offer shoppers a ‘foodbank shopping list’ and ask them to buy an extra item with their shop. This food is then collected at the checkout before being taken to the foodbank warehouse.
Food is sorted and stored
At the warehouse, food is sorted by volunteers according to type and 'best before date'. They also check it is undamaged (and that it can be used in a food parcel) and pack it into boxes and store it, ready for use. Food is then taken to foodbank centres, where it is made up into food parcels for clients.
Frontline professionals identify people in need
Care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, Citizens Advice Bureau staff, welfare officers, the police and probation officers, amongst others, identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher.
Clients receive food
Clients bring their voucher to a foodbank centre where it can be exchanged for three days supply of emergency food. Food parcels have been designed by dieticians to provide recipients with nutritionally balanced food. Some foodbanks also run a delivery service, which takes emergency food-boxes to clients living in rural areas and those who cannot get to a foodbank.
Clients are signposted to further support
Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or hot meal and are able to signpost people to agencies who can help resolve the longer-term problem. As foodbanks are an emergency food-provision service, it is important to get clients in touch with organisations who can help them address the underlying problem.
Q: I need a Foodbank voucher, where can I get one?
FIRSTLY, you need to get help and advice regarding your crisis or financial situation. If you already access a support agency or support worker please speak to them about your situation. On the right are a couple of money advice agencies that you can contact to receive help and advice. (These agencies can also refer clients to a local foodbank.)