About the foodbank


Our aims
  • To eradicate food poverty in Luton
  • To support people so that they can take steps to overcome the problems that brought them to us

Our principles
  • 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
Our status
  • 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)

 

We provide
  • 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
We promote
  • 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
How it works
  • 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

Active Luton

Active Luton helps by providing a free venue for events.

a-Plan Insurance

a-Plan Insurance

Martin Blower:

I am proud to work alongside Luton Foodbank and continue to promote the work done in the community.

ASDA

ASDA

ASDA allows us to hold supermarket collections.

Co-op Food

Co-op Food

Gemma 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

Crescent Hall

Crescent Hall has given us a coffee morning venue.

Definitive Invest

Definitive Invest

Andrew 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."

Inspire FM

Inspire FM

Local radio station Inspire FM is a major supporter, providing a media platform for us to raise awareness and promote our charity campaigns, such as "Feed a child". Inspire FM was also instrumental in fundraising for a new van.

Interserve

Interserve

Interserve kindly donated £2,500 for warehouse improvements.

King Print

King Print

Roy Walker:

"Luton Foodbank is a good cause which is much needed at the moment."

Liberty Law Solicitors

Liberty Law Solicitors

Liberty Law has committed to ongoing monthly donations.

Mashwi Restaurant

Mashwi Restaurant

Mashwi Restaurant donates regularly to help us buy items for food parcels. They also host our annual Fast-a-thon event.

National Zakat Foundation

National Zakat Foundation

NZF has agreed to sponsor our halal meat vouchers for the year.

Ocado

Ocado

Ocado online supermarket has helped by donating surplus/damaged stock, and by sending volunteers to our warehouse.

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s

Sainsbury’s helps by letting us hold food drives.

Taylor Walton Solicitors

Taylor Walton Solicitors

Taylor Walton supports us with a Silver Sponsorship package.

Tesco

Tesco

Tesco allows us to hold food drives.

Tustone

Tustone

Tustone provides our office with comprehensive I.T. support.

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

Our supporters

Imam Jahangir Ahmed

Imam Jahangir Ahmed

Al-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 Kesterton

Revd. David Kesterton

All 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 Jones

Sue Jones

Citizens 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

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 Khan

Tahir Khan

Luton 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 Whitehouse

Amelia Whitehouse

Head Teacher, Whipperley Infant Academy

"It is very heartening to witness community spirit in action."

Imam Shahed Ahmed

Imam Shahed Ahmed

Madinah Masjid UKIM

Thank you to all the volunteers and the foodbank team who help us address our collective responsibility to the needy.

Martin Palmer

Martin Palmer

"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."

Shaykh Zubair

Shaykh Zubair

"This is an amazing opportunity for us to show charity to our local neighbours."

Toby

Toby

College student

"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."

Our clients

kerry

kerry

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!!!

ELishA

ELishA

"JUST WANT TO SAY THANKS xxx"

Sara

Sara

"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."

Anonymous

Anonymous

"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."

Angie

Angie

"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."

Jade

Jade

Now 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."

All FAQ

We do distribute some non-food items, such as female sanitary products. 

If you want to donate other items, such as clothes and blankets, it may be better to approach other local charities. For more information, please get in touch.

We take clients’ privacy very seriously. Only those staff/volunteers who absolutely need to see your details will have access to them. 

You may have seen some clients named in interviews or videos. These people have agreed in advance to this. 

Yes, vouchers expire seven days after the date of issue. Please contact your referrer if you run into difficulties redeeming your voucher in time.

Yes.

Ask us!

You can contact us using our online form, email info@lutonfoodbank.org.uk, 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.

 

Some high-profile politicians and pundits have alleged this, but a report commissioned by DefRA (the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) disagrees. You can download the report here.

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.

 

If you really are still struggling, please contact us so that we can make an assessment of your situation.

We work in partnership with Citizens Advice, who provide advice and support on all sorts of issues: money, benefit, housing or employment problems.

Main page: Get advice

Anyone can find they’re unable to cope with food costs, but you will need a voucher in order to claim food parcels. See one of our referrers to see if you qualify for a voucher.

Main page: Get food

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.
Get help

You can get foodbank help up to five times a year. All of our distribution sessions are attended by professionals from Citizens Advice who can offer guidance on how to recover from the crisis that led you there.

If you need halal meat, we can replace standard tinned meat items with a voucher, and information about how to redeem it.

Our standard food parcel contains enough food for three days.

We have weekly distributions across the town. The referrer who issues your foodbank voucher will also be able to tell you about the locations and times most convenient for you. To get in touch with a referrer, click here.

We have found many recipes which use typical food parcel contents.

Find our YouTube recipes here.

Main page: Get recipes

Free and confidential advice is available at Community House, 15 New Bedford Road.

Times: 9am-4pm, Mon-Fri.

Call Luton Access for an appointment on 0344 245 1285.

Main page: Get advice

Please do NOT call at our office for food parcels. Click here to find out how to get a voucher and redeem it.
 

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