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5 ways to support your local food bank

Words by Abi Scaife

During such a trying time, you might feel unsure of how to help people in your community who are in need. The cost of living has skyrocketed, and, because of this, it is more difficult than ever to give back - especially if you yourself are struggling.

The Trussell Trust says it gave out nearly 3 million food parcels in a year – the charity’s highest ever total and a year-on-year increase of 37%. It also said 750,000 people visited for the first time.

If you want to help out, one of the great ways you can do so is by supporting your local food bank. More than ever, people are relying on food banks for more than just food - for things like menstrual items, and other necessities that have become increasingly expensive.

Here are five ways to support your local food bank and your community.


First things first - what do they need? Some foodbanks may be desperately in need of tampons, or canned beans. Others might be utterly inundated with the stuff. While it feels good to give, it’s even better when your donation is targeted - so that you’re doing something with a purpose.

If you’re unsure what they need - just ask! Find the telephone number of your local food bank (the internet is your friend) or stop by, and ask if there is anything they are desperate for.


Whether you’re using the food bank currently, you used to, or you just want to give back, time is one of the most valuable things you can donate. A few hours on an evening or weekend can make the world of difference, whether you’re helping to give out food, or sitting and talking with those who need it - you are contributing more than you might realise.


Are you a bit of a hobby gardener? Consider growing fruit and vegetables and donating any surplus to the food bank. Fresh food is always in short supply, and it costs even less than a can when you grow it from seed!


If you want to give back, but you’re struggling yourself, a fundraiser is always a good way to go. Whether you’re doing a 24-hour readathon or climbing a mountain, it’s a great way to get people from across the country involved. Make a donation page online, ask family and friends to share it on social media, and you might be pleasantly surprised at the response.


Ultimately, what a food bank needs to operate is stuff, right? Food, necessities, all sorts - if you can’t afford to donate yourself, or you want to utilise your social connections, consider hosting a collection point.

Out of your house, your school or your business, hold a collection point for a week or so and spread the word so that people know it's there. This allows everyone to donate as little or as much as they can and gets the whole community involved in giving back.

If you want to find your local Trussell Trust food bank to give back, you can do so on the Trussell Trust website using their handy map.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Grow to Give. This charity connects local farmers and hobby growers with food banks and encourages them to donate surplus food. Find out how to support them here.

The Felix Project. They collect fresh, nutritious surplus food that cannot be sold and deliver it to charities and schools. Support them here.

FareShare. The UK's largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, they save good food from going to waste and redistribute it to frontline charities. Find out more.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Zero Hunger.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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