No one should go hungry but unfortunately for many across the country, relying on foodbanks has become a necessity. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people in the UK live below the poverty line and unfortunately, during the coronavirus pandemic more and more people finding themselves in financial difficulty and are turning to foodbanks to help them survive.
Earlier this year, the Tussell Trust released their bi-annual report on those accessing emergency food supplies at their UK-based centres. For the period between April 2019 – March 2020, a record 1.9 million foodbank parcels were delivered to those in need and between April and September 2020, 1.29 million emergency food parcels were delivered to people in crisis. Particularly this year there has been an alarming spike in those needing support.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected a huge amount of people, from those on 80% furlough pay for much of the year to those who have been made redundant, many have been adversely affected and this has furthermore disproportionately affected those on lower incomes. Couple this with the closing of schools, and parents not being able to access free school meals, there has been an added pressure on the family budget.
Despite the ongoing restrictions and uncertainty about the future, local communities and businesses across Liverpool have come together to make a difference. From new foodbank locations to restaurants delivering free meals and members of the public donating their time to help – this period has showcased the best of our community.
Whether you’re in need of support and looking for your nearest Liverpool food bank or want to help via food donations or volunteering, keep reading for all the information you need.
What is a Food Bank?
A foodbank is a grassroots, community organisation dedicated to food donation within the local community which provides emergency food as well as compassionate, dignified support to people who may be struggling.
It is estimated that there are over 2,000 food banks in the UK, 1,800 of which are operated by Trussell Trust. These food banks are supported entirely by the local community via food donations and volunteering efforts.
Those in need of emergency food will have to obtain a food bank voucher which they receive via referral, one received they will then visit the food bank and receive a food parcel that will last three days. Food banks in Liverpool have worked with nutritionists to ensure that each parcel supplied contains three days’ worth of nutritionally balanced meals for both individuals and families.
Importantly, those in need will be able ask for food parcels for certain dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, halal or gluten free. Liverpool food banks are committed to the health and wellbeing of those in need and will do their best to ensure a food parcel that meets the requirements of the individual in need.
Importantly, foodbanks are not designed for long-term use which is why food parcels delivered for those in need contain three days’ worth of food. Additional support is given to those accessing foodbanks including debt advice, mental health support or benefits advice – to try and help at the source of the problem.
Please note that this support is not always available and it will vary from food bank to food bank which support services are on offer, but please enquire if you feel you need this support.
Food banks receive around 90% of their food donations from the local community which means that it is imperative that those who can support and donate, should where possible. Please read on to discover how you can help your local Liverpool food bank.
How to Get a Food Bank Voucher
In order to obtain emergency food from your local Liverpool foodbank, you will need to be referred with a voucher.
Each food bank works with different local bodies and professionals such as GP’s, health visitors, social workers and Citizens Advice. If they believe you need emergency food, they will be able to refer you to a food bank and give you a food bank voucher. Together the professional who referred you and the food bank will gather some basic information about you and your situation in order to better assess why you need emergency food and furthermore be able to offer practical help and advice.
If you feel like you’re in need of emergency food from a foodbank, please speak to your doctor, call Citizens Advice or speak to your health visitor and they will be able to asses and refer you.
Once you have been given a food bank voucher, you will be able to exchange this for three days’ worth of emergency food from your nearest Liverpool food bank.
How You Can Help
Liverpool foodbanks are always in need of support whether that’s through monetary donations, food donations or volunteer support.
If you are donating food to a Liverpool food bank, you should check on their websites or give them a call to find out what items they are in need of. Most of the food banks in Liverpool and across the UK will only accept non-perishable, in-date food items such as;
- Tins – soup, tomatoes, pasta sauce, vegetables, meat, fruit
- Dry food – pasta, rice, cereal, lentil, beans, pulses, biscuits, bread
- Drinks – tea, coffee, fruit juice, squash
- UHT milk
- Some food banks will offer fresh fruit and vegetables (please check before donating)
Food banks furthermore supply non-essential items such as;
- Toiletries – hand soap, shower gel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, face wash, deodorant, moisturiser
- Feminine products – tampons, sanitary towels
- Household items – laundry liquid detergent, bleach, cleaning products, washing up liquid, laundry powder, toilet roll
- Baby supplies – nappies, baby wipes, baby food
- Facemasks and hand sanitiser
It’s also nice to consider donating some treats such as chocolate, sweets and pudding – as the joys of a bar of chocolate can make a tough day a little bit more joyful.
All of the foodbanks in Liverpool will furthermore accept monetary donations which will allow them to purchase food for those in need and pay for the general operations of running a foodbank.
Liverpool food banks are heavily reliable on volunteers and without them simply could not operate and support the local community. Food bank volunteers undertake a range of roles including warehouse volunteers, voucher coordinator, food parcel delivery and helping at the food bank itself.
From sorting and packing food parcels to distributing and offering support on mental health, debt advice, benefits advice and much more. If you feel you can help in anyway or have skills that may be beneficial to those accessing the food banks, please do get in touch with your local food bank and see how you can help.
Local Businesses Supporting Those in Need
Despite the coronavirus pandemic having a significant impact on local businesses, many have come together to support those who are suffering during this time. When the government announced it would not be supporting free school meals for children during October half number, countless Liverpool cafes, takeaways and restaurants voiced their anger and stepped up to offer free meals to children in need during that week.
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Liverpool Football Club committed to doing all they could to support their local community during these unprecedented times. They set up three key areas of support; foodbanks, social isolation and the NHS & key workers. This initiative was supported by 100 volunteers and was operated by their official charity LFC Foundation alongside Red Neighbours.
In addition to this, Liverpool independent catering company Relish have supported the local Liverpool community since the start of the pandemic through its The Hungry Must Be Fed initiative which is supported by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Anna Rothery. This initiative provides large-scale support to front line staff and those most vulnerable in Liverpool and the wider North West region by providing freshly-prepared, hot lunch and evening meals.
Laura’s Little Bakery has always been incredibly supportive when it comes to helping those in need and during these tough times, she’s continuing to help those who need it most. In October Laura launched the Donate a Cake initiative which allows people to nominate a child who they believe deserve a treat. Many Liverpool bakeries and independent bakers are on board and the cakes they’re delivering are utter amazing. Check out Donate a Cake to donate someone or if you’re a baker, send Laura a message to find out how you can get involved.
It goes without saying that Liverpool has really stepped up to help its most vulnerable citizens during this time. If you’re able to support a food bank by donating food, money or time then please do. Additionally look out for local businesses who are supporting those in need and offer your business to ensure that they can continue to help as much as they can.
Find your Nearest Food Bank
If you’re in need of emergency food and support either for yourself, your family or know someone who needs help then take a look at a list of Liverpool food banks below.
Please note that most food banks are only open for one or two days a week, for a couple of hours and remember before you attend a food bank, you will need a food bank voucher.
South Liverpool Food Banks
Bridge Chapel Centre
Address: Heath Road, Garston, Liverpool, L19 4XR
Opening Hours: Monday & Friday 10:30am – 12pm
Noah’s Ark Centre
Address: Ganworth Road, Speke, Liverpool, L24 2SA
Opening Hours: Tuesday & Thursday 10am – 12pm
Address: Frontline Centre, 147 Lawrence Road, Liverpool, L15 3HA
Opening hours: Monday & Wednesday 1pm – 3pm
Deeper Life Bible Church
Address: Deeper Life Bible Church, Solway Street East, Liverpool, L8 0QL
Opening Hours: Thursday 2pm – 4pm & Saturday 12pm – 2pm
St Gabriel’s Church
Address: St Gabriel’s Church, Yates Street, Toxteth, Liverpool, L8 6RD
Opening Hours: Tuesday 1pm – 3pm
St. Mary’s Church
Address: South Drive, Wavertree, Liverpool, L15 8JJ
Opening Hours: Friday 1pm – 3pm
East Liverpool Food Banks
St. Mark’s Church
Address: Cranwell Road off Hartsbourne Avenue, Childwall Valley, Liverpool, L25 1NZ
Opening hours: Saturday 10am – 12pm
Netherley Youth & Community Initiative
Address: St. Gregory’s Church, Damson Road, Netherley, Liverpool, L27 8XR
Opening hours: Tuesday & Thursday 10am – 1pm
Dovecot Evangelical Church
Address: 424 East Prescot Road, Dovecot, Liverpool, L14 2EH
Opening Hours: Thursday 1pm – 3pm
All Saints Stoneycroft
Address: Broadgreen Road, Liverpool, L13 4BW
Opening Hours: Thursday 9am – 12pm
St John’s Church
Address: West Derby Lane, Green Lane, Liverpool, L13 7EA
Opening Hours: Saturday 10:30am – 12pm
Kensington & Fairfield
Address: Fairfield Centre, Sheil Road, Liverpool, L6 3AA
Opening Hours: Saturday 10am – 12pm
North Liverpool Food Banks
Good Shepherd Church
Address: Lower House Lane, Liverpool, L11 2SF
Opening hours: Wednesday 9.30am.- 11am
Christ Church Anfield
Address: 157 Hartnup Street, Liverpool, L5 1UW
Opening Hours: Tuesday 10am – 12pm
St Christophers Church
Address: Lorenzo Drive, Norris Green, Liverpool, L11 1BQ
Opening Hours: Tuesday 12pm – 2pm
St Andrew’s Church
Address: St Andrew’s Church, Adshead Road, Liverpool, L13 0AL
Opening Hours: Friday 10:30am – 12:30pm
West Everton Community Council
Address: WECC, The Friary Building, Bute Street, Liverpool, L5 3LA
Opening Hours: Wednesday 2:00pm – 3:30pm
Address: Cavendish Drive, Liverpool, L9 1NB
Opening Hours: Monday 10am – 12pm
Address: Formosa Drive, Liverpool, L10 7LD
Opening Hours: Friday 12pm – 1:30pm
Address: 2 Liston St, Liverpool, L4 5RT
Opening Hours: 9.30am – 12pm
North Birkenhead Development Trust
Address: St James Centre, 344 Laird Street, Birkenhead, CH41 7AL
Opening Hours: 5:30pm – 6:45pm
Address: Vincent Street, Birkenhead, CH41 2RH
Opening Hours: Saturday 10:30am – 12:30pm
Link with Emmanuel Christian Fellowship
Address: 128 Claughton Road, Birkenhead, CH41 6EY
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 1pm – 3pm
Liscard Foodbank, Grosvenor Ballroom
Address: Grosvenor Ballroom, Grosvenor Street, Wallasey, CH44 1AQ
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday 10:30pm – 12:30pm
St David’s, Eastham Centre
Address: Crosthwaite Avenue, Eastham, CH62 9DG
Opening Hours: Wednesday 12pm – 2pm
St Mark’s Church, New Ferry
Address: New Chester Road, New Ferry, Wirral, CH62 1DG
Opening Hours: Thursday 10:30am – 12:30pm
Christ Church Moreton
Address: Upton Road, Moreton, Wirral, Merseyside, CH46 0PA
Opening Hours: 1pm – 3pm