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. 

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

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.


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

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

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

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.

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

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

Category: About 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