People are usually referred to the foodbank by organisations and individuals who know something of the person’s situation and can determine if they are in need of food support.
We have a network of around 80 referring agencies - all the professional social support services, NHS units, RBWM, Citizens Advice, many schools and some churches, GPs and other local support charities.
We help people who are in a state of food insecurity, meaning they don’t know if they will have enough food for the week (or even the day in more extreme circumstances).
Typically, that is a crisis resulting from loss of employment, benefits delays/sanctions, illness and chronic health conditions, sudden large debt etc.
We see an increasing number of people who are actually in work but simply do not have enough income, particularly if self-employed or on zero-hours contracts. The majority of people are helped for a short term – for a month or two – until their crisis has eased.