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.