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We’re working with our local foodbanks to bust common myths that can prevent people from accessing vital support. Find out how you can get involved and whether foodbanks might be able to help you or someone you know.

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Why aren't some people getting the support they need?

We’ve been speaking to our partner foodbanks and it seems there is often a stigma around using foodbanks, which is partly due to myths that surround them. We are challenging these misconceptions.

Foodbanks: myth vs. reality

Myth: ‘Foodbanks just do food’

Reality: Foodbanks provide much more than food, offering other essential products including baby items, cleaning products, sanitary items and toiletries, pet food and PPE. Some foodbanks also provide heating and electricity support and financial advice as well as signposting to other agencies and charities that can offer support to people at crisis point. 

Myth: ‘Foodbanks are just for the homeless and unemployed’

Reality: Foodbanks support those with complex financial and social needs. Anybody's circumstances can change dramatically for lots of reasons. Foodbanks are for anyone who is facing a crisis and is unable to afford food for themselves or their families. Using a foodbank is a way for people to access emergency food and support to help them regain control of their lives. 

Myth: ‘Foodbanks only offer one-off help’

Reality: Some people who use foodbanks attend regularly, for example if they are waiting for universal credit or if they are unemployed.

Myth: ‘All foodbanks want is pasta and baked beans’

Reality: Everyone deserves access to food which keeps them healthy and well, so foodbanks need a range of food items to provide a nutritionally balanced diet. This includes tinned vegetables, UHT milk, tinned fruit and fruit juices. Many people who go to foodbanks have dietary needs or children to feed, so it’s important to offer a varied choice – so they don’t have the same products every week.

How can I get support from a local foodbank?

1. Get a referral 

Many foodbanks require a 'referral' (a voucher that shows you need help with food). You can get one by asking your doctor, your child’s school or through Citizens Advice. If you have financial or housing difficulties, Citizens Advice can help with that too.

2. Find your local foodbank 

Your referrer may be able to give you information about where to find a foodbank or you can find your local foodbanks using the links below: 

Find a Trussell Trust foodbank

Find a Salvation Army foodbank.

Find an independent foodbank.

What can I donate?


Read more

A day in the life of the Braintree Area Foodbank team

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