Foodbanks: Myths vs. Reality

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Our local foodbanks have worked with us to bust some of the myths which can stop 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're challenging these misconceptions.

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.

We recently visited Colchester Trussell Trust foodbank as part of Your Co-Op Live. Find out more about the things the foodbank needs and how they work to change lives by watching the highlights here.

Think you or someone you know may need help from a Foodbank? Find out how to get a referral for a foodbank here.

Want to support your local Foodbank? Click here to discover ways to help local people in crisis with the East of England Co-op. 

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A day in the life of the Braintree Area Foodbank team

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