Why are you only open on weekdays?
Our Food Bank is run mostly by volunteers who give up their time free of charge, with the addition of a small amount of paid part-time staff. We only have a limited amount of storage for food, and this must be topped up several times each week. This limits the number of days we can open without stretching ourselves too thinly. We also work alongside the referring agencies who mostly work Monday to Friday. When we are closed, we are often working on other things we cannot do during our opening hours.
Will anyone know I am using the Food Bank?
Your information is confidential at the Food Bank. We would only share information with your permission, or in the event of a safeguarding concern (See privacy notice for how we share and store your information). Our food is packed in normal supermarket bags and our delivery vehicles are not marked with our logo. If you have any other concerns about privacy, please ring us and we will do everything we can to ease your concerns about using the Food Bank.
Why do I need a referral to use the Food Bank?
We use the referral system, as this means we don’t have to assess who needs food and when. We know when a person has been referred, that assessment has already been done and we can provide the food parcel. The person or organisation which refers you may also be able to assist you with things like benefit checks, housing, self-help groups and budgeting. We do not limit the number of referrals to our Food Bank but may ask the referrer to ensure you are receiving all the other help available. Our Food Bank is not limited to specific benefits or circumstances, as we know everyone’s needs are different.
What happens once I have a referral?
The person referring you will send us an email telling us that you need food. We will then ring you and ask you some questions about diet, health, cooking facilities etc. We will then pack up the food and arrange for you to collect it, or for it to be delivered. If you think you have been referred but have not received a call, please ring us to check, before you come to the Food Bank. If you have been given a paper referral, you will need to attend at the Food Bank with the referral. There may be a short wait while we pack your food.
Will I get my food on the same day as the referral?
We do our best to try and pack parcels the same day. In busy times, this is not always possible. If your referral comes to us late in the afternoon, the food is likely to be packed the next day. Try not to leave it too late to request the referral. We do not want anyone to be without food.
Why can’t I keep coming for food once I’ve been referred?
Not everyone needs to use a Food Bank in the same way. People’s needs are different. If you think you are going to need a referral for more than one week, you can ask for a recurring referral for a set number of weeks. We are happy to discuss specific circumstances with the person who refers you.
Why do I have to collect my food parcel?
We ask you to collect your food if you are able. Some people cannot collect for a variety of reasons and wherever possible we try and arrange a delivery. We will discuss the need for delivery with your referrer and with you. We cannot always deliver the same day due to the number of requests we get, so you may have to wait if you need your food delivering.
Can you supply food for special diets?
Wherever possible we will accommodate special dietary needs and allergies. We do keep some items in stock for vegetarians, halal diets, gluten free and dairy free. We cannot always accommodate very specific requests, but we will discuss this with you before preparing the food parcel. Most of our food is prepacked with allergen labels and we check these, but it is always best to double check the labels once you receive the food.