• Mapping the UK's independent food banks

    There are at least 859 independent food banks operating across the UK.

    If you'd like further information regarding our list of independent food banks

    please contact Sabine Goodwin at ifanconnect@gmail.com.

    We can respond to requests for local information about independent food banks immediately.

     

    Since February 2017, IFAN's Sabine Goodwin has been working to identify independent food banks providing food parcels outside of the Trussell Trust network. Results from this research, reported in The Guardian and other national newspapers, revealed that there were at least 651 independent food banks operating across Britain in May 2017.

     

    With work continuing, Sabine has by now identified over 208 more food banks, bringing the total number of independents to at least 859. This equates to over 40% of the combined total of independent and Trussell Trust food banks with the Trussell Trust network currently extending to 1,249. There is a total of at least 2,108 food banks operating across the UK but in addition we estimate that there are more than 3,000 independent frontline food aid providers operating outside of the food bank model.

     

    The definition of a food bank or food bank style project for the purposes of this research is a venue which regularly gives out emergency food parcels at least once a week. Some food banks/food bank style projects prefer to keep their locations anonymous - these venues are counted but not mapped. The list is routinely updated. The list does not include food banks operated by schools or universities which do not operate weekly although work is in progress to also map this category of venues. This list also does not include food parcel distribution activities operated by the national charity The Salvation Army.

     

    If you'd like to find out more about independent food banks in your constituency and campaigning for change please find more information here.

     

    We believe that UK-wide monitoring of household food insecurity is key to efforts to reverse the normalisation of emergency food aid provision within the UK. We are pleased that food insecurity measurement has now been adopted by the DWP's Family Resources Survey and that data collated from ten food insecurity related questions will be available from April 2021.

     

    Although IFAN advocates on behalf of independent food banks and other food aid providers we are not directly linked to these organisations unless they are members of our network. We are not in a position to refer individuals for food aid assistance.

     

    If you would like to make reference to this mapping work in any publication or report or if you would like to use our data for any further research please contact Sabine Goodwin at ifanconnect@gmail.com and please credit Sabine Goodwin on behalf of the Independent Food Aid Network.

     

    This research has been vital in bringing attention to the true scale of food poverty in the UK while also raising the profile of independent food aid providers. The list has been recently used to collate emergency food parcel distribution data from independent food banks in Scotland as well as for a study of 114 independent food banks operating across England.

     

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