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Using shopping vouchers or gift cards instead of/alongside food parcels

Platforms for the purchase of shopping vouchers, gift cards or cash cards:



A flexible voucher system that was initially created to distribute grocery vouchers during school holidays and the COVID lock downs. Support is available in many different formats including postal vouchers delivered to the doorstep, retail vouchers and utility vouchers.

Charis Grants

The service is flexible and Charis are able to work with clients to provide for the unique needs of each organisation to make sure the right support is given to each individual. 


Huggg is a system that allows you to manage a wallet of funds to send digital grocery vouchers via text or email. The system allows the recipient to choose which supermarket they prefer to redeem the voucher at. Other voucher options include home essentials, clothing, school uniform, school essentials, energy and cash. All vouchers except energy and cash are free to use and there  is no setup cost. 

Voucher Express - VEX 

Free to use - VEX provides supermarket gift cards, are available as physical gift cards, printed codes, email or SMS versions, and is targeted towards food, clothing and household essentials. They have an easy to use and adaptable platform linked to all the major supermarkets.

Background reading:


Vouchers for Families - Pilot Project Evaluation | West Cheshire Foodbank and the University of Chester | January 2024

Food Insecurity Pilot report | Citizens Advice Scotland | April 2024


Shopping card pilot final evaluation | Citizens Advice Scotland | November 2022


Using shopping vouchers instead of or alongside food parcel provision | IFAN | July 2021


Covid-19 learning and reflections: use of shopping vouchers instead of or alongside food provision | IFAN | September 2020

Why Cash First? | IFAN

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