We’d love to come to school assembly and give a presentation to the students. Please contact us to arrange something!

Meanwhile, you can find resources at lutonfoodbank.org.uk/schools. Please check back often, because we’re always adding stuff!

Category: Helping us 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.


You certainly can! One of our biggest challenges is raising awareness. You can help in a big way by printing items from our Posters page to display at your school or place of work.

Category: Helping us FAQ

If you’re fundraising for Luton Foodbank, you can use the logos here.

Category: Helping us FAQ

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)


Category: About us FAQ

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.

Category: Helping us FAQ

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.


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?

Category: Helping us FAQ

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

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.

Category: About us FAQ

Yes, you can donate by card via Paypal or VirginMoneyGiving on our Give money page.

You can also opt in to Gift Aid, which means more money for us, at no extra cost to you.

Hard to believe?

Go to our donations page and see!
Donate now

Gift Aid is a government tax incentive which allows charities to claim an extra 25p for every £1 donated – at no additional cost to the giver.

More more information, see Wikipedia.

Hard to believe?

Go to our donations page and see!
Take advantage!
Category: Helping us FAQ

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.

Category: About us FAQ

Our trained referrers interview all prospective clients to make a realistic assessment of their situation.

Category: About us FAQ

We have permanent collection points across the town. Please see our List of drop-off locations to find the one most convenient for you.

Category: Helping us FAQ

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.

Category: Helping us FAQ

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.

Category: Helping us FAQ

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.

Category: About us FAQ

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.

We’d love it if you did! Perhaps you could host a food drive or a sporting fundraiser like Big Pedal or Colour Run.

Or how about organising fundraising coffee morning?

Please contact us for advice.

Category: Helping us FAQ

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.

Absolutely not! Luton Foodbank is a not-for-profit project with charity status. (Charity number EW24901.)

Category: About us FAQ

Throughout the year we hold many fundraising events, from coffee mornings to sports challenges. Watch our events page for up-to-date details.

Main page: Events

Category: Helping us FAQ

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

Category: Helping us FAQ

You can donate money via Paypal or VirginMoneyGiving. You can opt to apply Gift Aid to your donations, which increases the amount we receive at no extra cost to you.
You can also set up a standing order for regular donations.

Main page: Give money

Category: Helping us FAQ

We generally ask that all donated items have a long shelf life (i.e., the “use-by” date is a long way off). We cannot store fresh fruit/vegetables, or any items which need to be kept in the fridge or freezer.

Up-to-date list of needed items: Food list

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.

Category: About us FAQ

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