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How foodbanks work

Providing emergency food to people in crisis.

How Slough Foodbank works

Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. A simple box of food makes a big difference. Once the immediate problem of hunger and lack of food is met, the people receiving help are better able to think about their problems and get help to tackle them. Other benefits of Foodbanks include helping prevent crime as they don’t need to steal food, helping prevent housing loss as rent money isn’t spent on food, helping to limit family breakdown as some of the stress and arguments are reduced and mental health problems caused by stress and pressure are relieved.


Food is donated

Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food and toiletries.

In 2023 the warehouse managed 93.8 tonnes of stock in and 101.7 tonnes out of non-perishable, in-date food and toiletries to the Foodbank. Large collections take place as part of Harvest Festival celebrations and food is also collected at supermarkets as well as being delivered direct to the warehouse. We have a special Christmas appeal to provide clients with a Christmas Hamper in addition to their standard food parcel.


Food is sorted and stored

Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date, it is stored in strict date order in the warehouse and then packed into food parcels of varying sizes including single, couple, small family and large family. We also have special packs for the homeless which include single servings with ring pull cans and food that does not need to be heated before being eaten. These pre-prepared food parcels are then sent to the distribution centres ready to be given to people in need. In addition to food we also provide basic toiletries.


Professionals identify people in need

Slough Foodbank partners with over 200 referral agencies to identify people in crisis and issue them with a foodbank voucher. Referral agencies include: a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, health visitors, social workers, children’s services and children’s centres, probation services and police .


Clients receive food

Slough Foodbank clients attend one of 5 distribution centres, open 6 days a week across the Slough area. Clients must have been referred to us and have had an e-voucher issued which is then  redeemed for three days emergency food. Volunteers meet clients over a cup of tea or coffee and biscuits and specially trained volunteers take time to chat and signpost people to local and national support agencies able to help with the longer-term problems.

More than food

Slough Foodbank provide additional help and support alongside an emergency food parcel. In addition to food, Slough Foodbank also provides basic toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, toilet roll, razors and shaving foam as well as baby wipes and nappies.

Slough Fuelbank provides a limited top-up to home energy for home gas or electricity for clients who qualify to receive food parcels, and who top up their meter at a pay point or a post office. This is to enable clients to cook the food we provide or heat their homes. The increase in fuel costs meant that many clients faced the tough decision over the winter months of whether to eat or heat their homes.

We provided SIM cards for clients to use in their mobile phone, each valid for 6 months with free calls and texts and internet data (20GB per month), which is important in helping people stay digitally connected and have access to the support they need.

Slough Foodbank asks clients if they have any pets and then provides pet food accordingly. This helps to keep the pets in the family and stop food being fed to pets instead of clients.


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