About the foodbank
- To eradicate food poverty in Luton
- To support people so that they can take steps to overcome the problems that brought them to us
- Luton Foodbank is run entirely for the benefit of people in and around Luton who need emergency food
- We make no profit
- We are not be aligned to any faith group
- We are non-judgemental
Luton Foodbank is exempt from registration with the Charity Commission because it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Luton Foodbank is a registered society (Number 031847R) under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. This means that it operates to benefit the community, and prohibits any distribution of assets or profits to members. If you’d like to read about Luton Foodbank’s inception, and the decision to register in this way, click here.
Luton Food Bank is a charity, approved by HMRC from 11th February 2014. (Number EW24901)
Luton Foodbank Ltd is registered at Companies House. (Number IP03187)
- free, nutritionally balanced, and culturally appropriate food to people in hardship or distress who are referred by a network of partner agencies
- signposting information to local advice and information services
- healthy eating
- local opportunities for food growing
- the development of a community food purchasing scheme
- co-operative working
- social cohesion
- the principles of Fair Trade
- Non-perishable food is donated at collection points across the town
- Volunteers take the food to our warehouse and sort it into boxes which provide enough for one person for up to three days
- People needing food are given a voucher by front-line professional agencies such as Luton Advice Network, Age Concern, children’s centres, mental health charities, etc
- These referral agencies also offer immediate advice on dealing with the problems leading to the visit
- Clients present their vouchers at one of the many distribution points across Luton
- Professionals from Citizens Advice are on hand to offer further advice
- We log usage patterns to identify individuals with recurring problems who may need further help
Our business friends
Active Luton helps by providing a free venue for events.
a-Plan InsuranceMartin Blower:
I am proud to work alongside Luton Foodbank and continue to promote the work done in the community.
ASDA allows us to hold supermarket collections.
Co-op FoodGemma Edmonds, Area Manager
"As a community retailer we are pleased to support the foodbank and its work to make a difference to the lives of people locally who are in difficulty. We now have nine stores in the area supporting the foodbank, and we would like to say thank you to our members and customers whose generous donations will make a huge difference to people in need in our community."
Crescent Hall has given us a coffee morning venue.
Definitive InvestAndrew Westcott:
"Being a Luton based business, we feel it is important to give back to the community we are part of. Day by day more and more families are struggling to make ends meet and feed themselves. We decided to partner with the Luton Foodbank in a humble effort to contribute to the need facing those families going to bed hungry; it would be socially irresponsible for a cooperation such as ours to go to bed on a full stomach whilst sections of our community go to bed hungry. We encourage local companies and individuals to share with us in this collective responsibility and support the invaluable work that the Luton Foodbank is doing for our community."
Interserve kindly donated £2,500 for warehouse improvements.
Liberty Law Solicitors
Liberty Law has committed to ongoing monthly donations.
Mashwi Restaurant donates regularly to help us buy items for food parcels. They also host our annual Fast-a-thon event.
National Zakat Foundation
NZF has agreed to sponsor our halal meat vouchers for the year.
Ocado online supermarket has helped by donating surplus/damaged stock, and by sending volunteers to our warehouse.
Sainsbury’s helps by letting us hold food drives.
Taylor Walton Solicitors
Taylor Walton supports us with a Silver Sponsorship package.
Tesco allows us to hold food drives.
Tustone provides our office with comprehensive I.T. support.
King PrintRoy Walker:
"Luton Foodbank is a good cause which is much needed at the moment."
SPONSOR LUTON FOODBANK
Can your business help in the fight against food poverty? We have a number of packages to fit every budget.
Email for details
Imam Jahangir AhmedAl-Jalal Mosque
"The Foodbank is an essential service being provided to local residents in their time of need. We have been supporting the Foodbank for a number of years. I’m very proud of the team and all the volunteers involved in the Foodbank. "We will continue to support them and would encourage the Luton community to support them throughout the year."
Revd. David KestertonAll Saints with St Peter's
"This a cause that unites Christians, Muslims and those of all faiths and none.We look forward to continuing to support you as long as you are needed in our town."
Sue JonesCitizens Advice Luton
"I have now attended two outreach sessions and completed surveys with service users and would like to say how positive comments have been about Foodbank volunteers…Clients have expressed how comfortable and welcome they have been made to feel."
Luton's Most Strongest
"We strongly believe in supporting our Local Community so what better way than supporting Luton Foodbank who have done an excellent job in trying to eradicate food poverty in Luton due to recent cuts to welfare."
Tahir KhanLuton Mayor 2016-2017
"Luton Foodbank is doing fantastic work in the community, trying to keep people from going hungry, and we all need to support this good cause."
Amelia WhitehouseHead Teacher, Whipperley Infant Academy
"It is very heartening to witness community spirit in action."
Imam Shahed AhmedMadinah Masjid UKIM
Thank you to all the volunteers and the foodbank team who help us address our collective responsibility to the needy.
"I love the energy of Luton Foodbank and would like to get involved. I have been on TV cooking a couple of times and would love to organise events in the community. I look forward to working together."
"This is an amazing opportunity for us to show charity to our local neighbours."
"We were just coming up to our GCSEs when a friend of mine started acting a bit weird. He stayed in the library all lunch time and said he wasn’t hungry. He had always been best in our class at maths but he started to do really badly in tests and once he even fell asleep in class. I thought he was going to end up being expelled or something but next thing I knew he was beating me in maths and eating lunch with the rest of us again. He told me later that there had been problems at home but that things were ok after a couple of visits to the foodbank. He made me promise not to tell anyone, like he was ashamed or something. I don’t really get that. I mean, whatever the problems were, they weren’t his fault. He didn’t deserve to go hungry. I support the foodbank because there’s only one difference between my friend and me: Bad luck."
we were at rock bottom with wife ill and me lost my job. bills mounting up and couldnt even afford the basics, got sent to foodbank & it got us thru. well never forget it. THANKYOU SO MUCH!!!
"JUST WANT TO SAY THANKS xxx"
"I am not being dramatic when I say Luton Foodbank saved my life. I had no food, no money, I was unable to work due to my mental health and I was on the verge of giving up altogether. There was a young girl who gave me my food and she could not have been more kind. A warm smile from her and the help I received saved my life. I cannot thank you enough."
"I go to an All Women’s Centre in Luton and I saw a poster about the coffee morning. I wanted to come and say thank you to Luton Foodbank. I was abused by my ex-partner and I would not have survived without the foodbank. Money was never a problem and then all of it was gone. You never choose to be a domestic violence victim. You can be hard up for money or a billionaire and still be a victim of abuse. I just wanted to express my thanks to Luton Foodbank for helping people when no one else will."
"We’d never heard of food banks before we were referred about eighteen months ago. It was just a case of poor planning with a bit of bad luck coming at the wrong moment, and suddenly WOOSH everything went pear-shaped. I can still remember the look on the kids’ faces when they got in from school and saw all the food. Their smiles got to me and I just cried with relief, and that set my husband off too LOL. It was a proper feast after living on cup-a-soup for a week. Three days’ food saw us through, and gave us enough breathing room to address the things that had gone wrong. We’ve never looked back! Now we always drop a can or two in the collection box."
JadeNow a Foodbank volunteer
"It was scary moving to a new town where I knew nobody, and with nothing but a few pounds in my purse. I had absolutely no idea where to turn or who to ask for help. I survived for a few weeks on rice and beans with very little left for luxuries like deodorant or toilet roll. I had never even heard of a food bank until my doctor told me about it. I was really nervous standing there outside the building, voucher hidden in my pocket, and worrying about people seeing me come out with bags with “Foodbank” written on them. The thought of people judging me for needing help almost made me walk away. But I was pleasantly surprised at how polite and well-mannered the staff were. They sat me down, we had a little chat. They explained that if I ever needed them again I only had to ask. I felt cared for, like I did matter. And the bags were just normal shopping bags, after all. Foodbanks make a huge impact in every way: that one food parcel can mean so much to somebody. I now volunteer at Luton Foodbank, and proudly work alongside the amazing people who helped me out so much through my difficult time."
Yes, vouchers expire seven days after the date of issue. Please contact your referrer if you run into difficulties redeeming your voucher in time.
Luton Foodbank is exempt from registration with the Charity Commission because it is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Luton Foodbank is a registered society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. This means that it operates to benefit the community, and prohibits any distribution of assets or profits to members. If you’d like to read about Luton Foodbank’s inception, and the decision to register in this way, click here.
Luton Food Bank is a charity, approved by HMRC from 11th February 2014. (Number EW24901)
If I donate food items that aren't on your list, will your clients get them? I heard food banks return luxury foods to the supermarket.
We don’t believe that someone needing help should not be able to enjoy treats, so the short answer is yes, they will. But please bear the following points in mind:
- Donated items have to be collected, moved, and stored, so something fragile that could be broken is not suitable.
- We have no chilled storage, so products that need to be kept in the fridge or freezer are definitely out. Sadly, we would have no choice but to throw them away.
- Equally important, the item’s remaining shelf-life shouldn’t be too short.
- Our food list has been carefully prepared to represent the best balance of nutrition and value, so sticking to it is the best way to ensure you’re helping combat hunger.
But, provided your “non-list” donation is suitable for transport and storage, it will find its way to our Bonus Table. (See video Exploring a distribution centre.) When a client collects their food parcel, which is made up of essentials from the list, they have the opportunity to choose something from the Bonus Table. It’s a great way to ensure food parcels have the maximum benefit and still allow people a nice treat. So, as long as it can be moved and stored easily, any donation is very welcome.
You can contact us using our online form, email firstname.lastname@example.org, message us on Twitter or Facebook, call us on 01582 725838, or write to us at: Luton Foodbank, PO Box 1379, Luton, LU1 9PS. We’ll try to answer your question, and if we can do so, you’ll probably see it added to these FAQ pages.
The report’s authors went so far as to state:
We found no evidence to support the idea that increased food aid provision is driving demand.
All available evidence, both in the UK and internationally, points in the opposite direction. Put simply, there is more need, and informal food aid providers are trying to help.
But you don’t need a Government report to work this one out. At every stage of a Luton Foodbank client’s journey, he or she is offered professional support and encouraged to take the right steps to remedy their situation. Significantly, most foodbanks—including Luton Foodbank—operate a policy limiting the number of uses someone can make of their service. Any so-called “dependency” would have a maximum duration of about two weeks. Since 87% of our users are back on their feet after only one or two visits, the pundits clearly didn’t do their homework.
Your business may be able to offer facilities or goods directly. For example, some local printers have helped us produce promotional material. Alternatively, you may be tempted by our range of sponsorship packages, which offer various rewards for annual donations.
Main page: Business
How can my business help?
You may be facing crisis if:
- your benefits have been stopped/changed/sanctioned
- you’ve lost your job
- you’re suffering from illness or disability
- unable to cover your living costs due to a short-term problem
Does this describe you?Look at our “get help” page to see whether you could qualify.
Food banks serve the community by acquiring and distributing food to people in crisis. Like most others, Luton Foodbank is a non-profit project which relies on grants and donations to operate.
Why did I see someone collecting food parcels in a nice car when they claim they can't afford food?
Many of our clients are working – sometimes at two or three jobs – but still in crisis. They might have recently lost their job, in which case selling their car might disadvantage them in the jobs market. Rest assured that our service is not about giving freebies to the lazy or greedy. Our clients are referred to us because of genuine need, and we support them while they get back on track.
Our trained referrers interview all prospective clients to make a realistic assessment of their situation.
Sadly, we are unable to accept perishable foods due to the associated problems with storage and distribution. If you have fresh or frozen food you want to donate, please contact NOAH Enterprise on 01582 728416. NOAH carries out wonderful work with homeless and socially disadvantaged people in Luton.
We need both, so it’s up to you! Non-perishable food items chosen from our food list have the wonderful quality of variety, which can really mean a lot to the person who ends up with it. Donations of money help us to plug the gaps if a particular food type is in short supply.
Sadly, the number is rising all the time. In 2016 we gave out 7,565 food parcels – an increase of more than 25% on the previous year.
Our standard food parcel contains enough food for three days.
Absolutely not! Luton Foodbank is a not-for-profit project with charity status. (Charity number EW24901.)
We often need help in our warehouse (High Town area), help with driving, and help with supermarket collections. Details of days/times can be found by following the link below. You must be over 18 years old to volunteer, but younger people may wish to help by organising a food collection at school, or doing a sponsored challenge like this.
Main page: Volunteer
Disaster (such as bereavement, serious illness, or loss of work or benefits) can strike anyone at any time. We believe no one should be hungry, so we strive to make sure everyone in our community has enough to eat. We supply food to people in hardship or distress, and support their efforts to improve their situation.
If you are experiencing a financial crisis and cannot afford enough food, you should call:
Mon-Fri: Luton Borough Council Crisis Support on 0800 456 1673 or Citizen Advice Bureau on 0844 245 1285.
Sat: Call at Discover Islam, Upper George Street.
If you are assessed as being eligible for help, you will be given a voucher to take to one of our food distribution points.
Main page: Get food