Food bank volunteers sorting through donations.

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How can I donate to food banks?

Herman Khosah

Herman Khosah, senior marketing executive

Food banks rely on donations to provide food and other supplies to those who need it. Here is how you can help out food banks in the UK and what they usually need:

Here is how you can donate to food banks in the UK and what they usually need.

1. Non-perishable foods
Common items that have long expiration dates are always needed, and they include goods like:

  • Tinned meat (meatballs, hot dogs etc.)
  • Tinned fish (tuna, sardines etc.)
  • Tinned fruit
  • Tinned veg (tomatoes, sweetcorn, peas etc.)
  • Tinned meals (curries, chilli, pasta etc.)
  • Tinned soup
  • Tinned fruit
  • Pasta and pasta sauce
  • UHT milk
  • Coffee
  • Long-life juice

2. Toiletries and hygiene products
Food banks will also take donations of toiletries and personal hygiene items such as soap, toothpaste, diapers, and sanitary products.

3. Volunteer
You could also volunteer your time to help sort the food. Food banks rely on volunteers to help run the day to day. This can be just as important as donating food.

4. Donations
You can usually make online donations through a food bank’s website. These donations are then used to purchase fresh food items like eggs, bread, vegetables, and fruit. Donations also help with the cost of running food banks.

5. Donation drop off points
Some supermarkets and local businesses have donation points where you can drop off non-perishable items. Look for these in your area.

You can also find the nearest food bank to donate. The Trussell Trust has the largest network of food banks in the UK.

Remember that food banks often have guidelines about what they can and cannot accept. It is a good idea to contact your local food bank to see what they can take and what they may need more of.

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