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Food Bank Operations

Food Safety Training

Food aid projects need to mitigate risks in terms of health and safety. This means having key people trained to level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene in Catering as a minimum to ensure best practise in accepting donations, storing, packing and redistributing ambient, fresh, frozen foods, and cooked meals. Examples of affordable online training courses are Virtual College and these resources through the FSA.

Using shopping vouchers alongside or instead of food parcels

Bulk ordering:

Tesco, Aldi, Lidl and Asda do not accommodate online bulk orders but you can ask the individual store manager or talk with the customer service desk (Asda) to place a bulk order although this is left to the discretion of the store.

GDPR Checklist

What data do we need in order to run the service (every data point needs to be justified)

  • Data that enables us to monitor usage (e.g. total numbers; number of new registrations)

  • Data that enables us to provide appropriate food parcels (e.g. Household size, dietary requirements)

  • Data that enables us to refer for further support: name, address, DOB, doctors surgery (required for some services)

What data do we need for fundraising and grants? 

  • Reason for food bank use.  An example checklist for this section:  benefit delays; 5 week UC wait; benefit sanctions; debt; homelessness; family breakdown; domestic violence; NRPF; health issues (mental or physical); cost-of-living;  

  • In addition to basic usage date, some specific grants applications welcome data on other elements, e.g. working status; ethnicity; housing

Do we have permission to keep this information? 

  • Usually a signature on a form, dated. 


How long is this information kept for? 

  • Information should be kept for as short a time as possible


How is data kept?

  • If on a hard copy, is this locked away

  • If online, is access limited and password secure and regularly changed


Do we have a privacy statement?

  • Every charity should have a statement which outlines policy in relation to GDPR. Several templates can be found online (including the one linked above)


Is the privacy statement understood and  accessible?

  • Easy for people fo find (e.g. on the website)

  • Are volunteers all aware of the statement and able to explain to people why and how information is kept? 

The NVCO has listed Zurich as their trusted third sector insurance provider. Read Zurich's guide for charities or speak to an advisor directly: 0800 917 9508.
UK Government guidance suggests using an organisation that is a member of the British Insurance Brokers Association(BIBA) to insure your charity. Search for BIBA members here.


Guidance on breast feeding, formula milk and baby food

Worthing Food Foundation: guidance on infant formula and baby food

UNICEF Supporting Families with Infants Under 12 months experiencing food insecurity A Guide for Local Authorities and Health Boards 

Breastfeeding help and support resources (with thanks to Dr Helen Crawley of First Steps Nutrition)

Maternity Action Website

See our Nutritional Guidelines page for early years guidelines and recipe cards

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