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-Charity launches urgent appeal to increase donations to UK food banks-  


43% of food banks reported an increase in nurses and teachers (19%) among the rising number of people seeking support for food insecurity in the UK, with 97% of food banks reporting an increase in demand for their services, according to a new poll by BanktheFood. Today, the charity has launched a new campaign to encourage donations to food banks using its BanktheFood app. 


The survey shows that 1 in 4 food banks have seen the biggest increase in service usage amongst working families with children under 12. Of those now turning to food banks for support, 35-44 years olds have risen (39%), closely followed by those aged 25-34 (32%).


This increase in demand for emergency food parcels coincides with falling donations attributable to rising living costs. Food banks report the most significant reduction in donations has been tinned food (40%) and personal care items (18%) e.g. deodorant, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products. This follows reports of a 17% rise in food price inflation in February 2023, compared with the same period a year ago.*


Worryingly, 92% of food banks in the UK have concerns about their ability to continue to support those who need help, with one third expressing 'extreme concern'. 


BanktheFood is appealing for people to support their local community food bank by downloading its free app, 'BanktheFood', a simple way to donate items desperately needed. The app pings people a list of items urgently needed from nearby food banks as they arrive at their local supermarket. Shoppers can add an item to their shop and drop it off at the donation station. 


Every week the BanktheFood generates more than 7000 donations for UK food banks, helping ensure they get the items they need to provide a balanced emergency food parcel, but more is needed.

As part of the survey, food banks said:


Isle of Wight Foodbank said: "We are seeing an increase of working and retired people needing our food bank, and usage is increasing monthly. The food donations remain around the same each month, but we are feeding more and more people, which puts a strain on our stock. Many of our clients are concerned when the cap on utilities goes up again or is removed."


Wells Vineyard Church, an independent food bank, said: "Increase in clients, having to buy in food which is sometimes not available, financial donors may stop supporting us if financial climate worsens."


The Gate, an independent food bank, said: "Our numbers have increased from around 50 food parcels per week to around 63 weekly on average. Donations have decreased slightly; therefore the remainder has to be made up with our cash donations. We are helping more families than last year, also more professionals such as nurses." 

Peeblesshire Foodbank said: "We are managing at the moment because we had reserves allowing us to buy food to top up the donations we get. Demand has increased by 20% overall, but the number of children we are helping has increased by 36%. Things are really tough for families at the moment, especially for those with children under the age of 5. I am angered by the inequality in this country, the burden those at the bottom are carrying for the man at the top is just not right." 


35-year-old mum, Rhianna Scott, was helped by Peeblesshire Food Bank when she became destitute with her three young children: "At the time, I wasn't working because my children were so young, and it all happened very suddenly. We were fortunate to get emergency housing, but it was completely empty, and I had no money. I couldn't even afford to feed us. Within hours, an enormous food package arrived at our door. It had everything we needed to keep us going for a few days, including food, nappies, and food vouchers. I just broke down. I was overwhelmed by the generosity. I never thought I'd need a food bank, I didn't even know what one was until then. But I am so grateful. It was a very difficult time, and I don't know what I would have done without that support." 


Emma Spring, co-founder of BanktheFood, explains: "We talk to foodbanks daily and have a fair idea of how challenging things are getting, but this is the first time we've surveyed our network and are shocked by the increases and how food banks are going above and beyond to help. Food poverty is a very real problem in this country and a growing concern for many people. Food banks are a lifeline for thousands of people. If everyone made a weekly donation, helping food banks get what they need – imagine how many people we could help get through this crisis."



BanktheFood generates 7000 donations for UK food banks every week, helping ensure they get the items they need to provide a balanced emergency food parcel. Download the BanktheFood app to help your local food bank. 




For further information, details of your local food bank, interviews, and photographs, please contact Stass Daniells on 07968594549 or email 

To find your local food bank registered with BanktheFood, visit


To download an image of the app in use click



Additional quotes from food banks across the UK:


Weston-Super-Mare Foodbank said: "We are concerned about the underlying helplessness feeling coming from clients as well as volunteers. The pressure of queues outside the food bank on a regular basis rather than just on the expected 'peak' days, such as the last days before Christmas, can be disheartening. The feeling that things can only get worse is daunting. As a food bank, we are always trying to find ways to provide better support and a variety of products, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to draw the line in where our place is and how to help as many as possible."


Littlehampton & District Foodbank, said: "So far this year, we've already seen a more than 60% increase in need compared to the same time period last year. We expect this trend to continue."


Cirencester Foodbank said: "The cost-of-living crisis is resulting in people having to make impossible decisions between which essentials they can afford, resulting in, for example, households going without food or heating so that they can pay their mortgages. This is further exacerbated by supply shortages of fresh fruit and vegetables, making it harder to buy cheap items. This increases the demand for food bank support. At the same time, donations of higher priced items, such as household, hygiene and pet foods, that people in crisis need, are reducing as even higher income households struggle to cope."


Middlewich & District Foodbank: "We have seen a large increase in food bank referrals, but at the same time, we are seeing a significant drop in the food being donated."


Blackburn Foodbank said: "We are seeing people coming into the food bank having to make impossible decisions. Do they skip a meal to have the heating on? Or do they leave their jobs because they can no longer afford to get there and back? We have seen an increase in full-time employed people accessing our services, not just for food support but for financial support too."


Greenwich Foodbank: "In the past 12 months Greenwich Foodbank has seen a 52% increase in food bank use in our borough. There is a clear need for our government to guarantee that everyone in our society is able to afford the essentials. Our service is busier than ever before both in terms of food distribution and signposting activity to other anti-poverty agencies. Each month Greenwich Foodbank spends between £7.5k and £9k to make up for the downturn in physical donations we have experienced due to the cost of living crisis."


Bracknell Foodbank said: "Demand has doubled from this time last year, however, an increase in awareness thanks to the media has increased the number of donations. The BankTheFood app has been AMAZING. We have over 1100 users, we update it three times a week with our current needs, and we now see the products we actually need coming in!"


Notes to editor:


About the survey

124 food banks nationwide completed the survey, open from 21 February 2023 to 3 March 2023. 



* 28 February 2023.


The volunteers behind the BanktheFood, registered charity 1194167

Emma Spring is the co-founder of BanktheFood and runs the charity day-to-day. A former teacher, she cares passionately about fighting poverty as she has seen first-hand the impact it can have on children and their families.


BanktheFood was developed by Daniel Owen and his digital multimedia company Mustard New Media. Daniel and his team donate their time and expertise to maintaining the app as part of their corporate social responsibility.