• Join the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN)

    Membership is free to all independent food aid organisations sharing IFAN's vision to end the need for charitable food aid in the UK.


    Find out more about IFAN membership below and join the network by completing our membership form.

  • What are the benefits of being an IFAN member?

    The Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) supports and advocates on behalf of independent food aid providers operating across the UK while the need for charitable food aid exists. IFAN’s vision is of a country without the need for charitable food aid and in which good food is accessible to all.


    The network's membership includes over 550 independent food banks while IFAN has been responsible for the identification of at least 1174 independent food banks across the whole of the UK.


    IFAN supports and advocates on behalf of its member organisations in a range of different ways including:

    • sharing advice, guidelines, best practice and funding opportunities
    • organising meetings, webinars and conferences for member organisations to share concerns, ideas and best practice
    • distributing PPE, up-to-date information related to the pandemic and small grants 
    • collating food parcel distribution data from network members and other independent food banks and using these figures to advocate for policy changes to end the need for charitable food aid in the UK
    • calling for a cash first approach to food insecurity to reduce the poverty driving the need for charitable food aid 
    • making joint calls with many other anti-poverty charities to see a reduction in poverty levels in the UK
    • leading work across the UK to co-develop local 'Worrying About Money?' cash first referral leaflets

    We are regularly asked to comment and contribute information by journalists, academics, civil servants, politicians and other third sector organisations. Member organisations frequently take part in national surveys, research projects, conferences as well as IFAN's data collation project. You can read more about IFAN's work in news coverage listed here and throughout our website.


    If you have any questions at all about IFAN membership please don't hesitate to contact Sabine or Maria at admin@foodaidnetwork.org.uk

  • "As an independent community food bank run entirely by volunteers it’s really good to be a member of IFAN as it provides a forum for peer support and learning from other independent food aid providers. IFAN also provides us with advice and collates and presents information to raise awareness on the unacceptable rise in food bank use and of the need for measures to address the underlying cause of food insecurity."

    Mary McGinley, Helensburgh & Lomond Foodbank

    "Being part of IFAN has been invaluable in terms of support and encouragement. Hearing how other similar organisations are adapting and coping has been so helpful. Being an independent food bank can feel quite lonely but IFAN has provided a support system that brings us all together."

    Jen Coleman, Black Country Food Bank

    "Being a member of IFAN has given our local food bank a voice that is being heard at a national level. Having input into the national agenda on food poverty will hopefully lead to a change in policy in order that food poverty can be recognised and measures taken to implement meaningful change. The independent food bank service and the valuable work it does has been ignored for too long."

    Joyce Leggate, Kirkcaldy Food Bank

    "As a Food bank Manager, I find support and common aims among the member groups of IFAN. Together we can be part of a movement, to call for change in the communities and society we live in, to call for a better way to live with more compassion and care . So that there are not those, who find themselves marginalised and isolated in our country. Through IFAN, members can find solutions together, share initiatives and collectively strive for our voice to be heard; representing ourselves and our communities, to bring a more fair and just society. Together we can have hope, share common humanity and bring some laughter to our challenging work."

    Alison Peyton, ReadiFood

    "Having set up a food bank in Bolton in late March '21, the process has been challenging and enjoyable. We have met some remarkable human beings and also seen and heard some difficult situations. Being part of IFAN is unique in that you get to see the way others across the UK are working on the same problem albeit in different locales with different models. It's also reassuring to see that we can on occasion despite others operating a food bank for longer than us struggling with the same issues. A common forum for us to share our stories and ambitions and do our part for the community."

    Adil Patel, Crescent Food Bank

  • Membership Form

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