Start a Food Bank

Starting a food bank in the UK can be challenging but very rewarding. The first decision that must be made though, is whether the food bank will be a “one-off” event or a long-term permanent venture.

If your church or community group wish to hold a one-off event e.g. A Christmas Food Hamper to local needy families, then it is relatively easy to organise. Asking members of the group or the congregation to donate food can be done at the same time as asking the same people to identify individuals or families who would appreciate a donated box of food.

However, if the community group or church wish the donations to become a long-term or permanent venture then there are different ways to go. Either set up a charity (please contact the Charities Commission for help and advice) or be part of the foodbank network at The Trussell Trust who (for a fee) will provide training, support, an operating manual, PR and branding materials, an online forum, annual audits, conferences  and access to the foodbank network’s shared ideas and experience.


Start a Food Bank — 13 Comments

  1. Help please….. My local branch of Sainsbury’s is a partner charity’s ‘Charity of the Year. Every morning we collect their Pershibles and distribute to local cook ups,homeless hostels…..individuals etc…. I would like to set up pershibles & nonpershible Food Charity in TOTTENHAM.

  2. Hi
    I am a Children’s Centre Manager and have been approached by my local Food Bank to distribute fresh fruit and vegetables and bread from my premises on a weekly basis. The food is collected from local supermarkets and is very near to or on its best before date. I have a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate but is there anything else I need to do in order to ensure I am following rules and regulations?

  3. Boldon Community Association is a registered charity and we wish to start a Foodbank enabling people from the local community to access food in times of poverty.

    Can you please contact me with information on how I move this forward.

  4. Hello
    We are a nursery and infant / primary school. We would like to start our own food bank in school as we have a lot of families in our area who would benefit from one. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    Linda Anson

  5. May I correct you, the trussel trust is not helping to set up a new food bank. They expect £1600 in the first year and £360 in any following year I think.

    • I’ve set one up from home people. Love community spirit and helping those in need goes well with any neighbourhood and certainly friends and family, go to your local supermarket and work out what cheap tins of food cost and build it up when you go shopping, then once you have enough ask friends and family and Post on your fb to ask for donations it’ll soon build up, I’ve been going 1 week and we’ve help a family of a 22month old baby and a homeless guy who lived in a tent amazing what your doing find me on fb or email

  6. Hello,
    My name is Mufaro Mapanda and I am the chair and founder for a charity registered in the UK and Zimbabwe called Hope for African Communities UK,number 1178602.
    We work with vulnerable families,orphans and widows in Zimbabwe.
    Here in the UK we had just talking to Basildon council to be part of the Mayor’s Unseen Unheard appeal,to help combat loneliness,but due to covid 19 pandemic we had to put everything on hold.
    Whilst we are waiting for that I would like some information on how my charity can start a food bank and distribute food to lonely and vulnerable people in Essex?
    Stay safe and take care
    Kind Regards

  7. I would like to know more about starting a charity food bank redistributing surplus food from supermarkets and cafés etc

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