The Foodbank Donation Thread

MSE_Laura_F
MSE_Laura_F Posts: 1,567
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MSE Staff
edited 20 September 2023 at 9:50AM in Food shopping & groceries

Welcome to The Foodbank Donation Thread

How can we maximise contributions to foodbanks, while keeping it MoneySaving?
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A note:
this post does not seek to pressure people into donating to food banks. Not everyone is in the position to be able to donate alongside providing for their own family, especially with the current cost of living. But for those who already donate or who are interested, we hope this thread will become a useful resource.

A Forumite (who wants to stay anonymous) messaged me:

"A while ago on Twitter I read a post from someone who had received a box of Marks and Spencer's 'posh' biscuits in their parcel from their food bank. They were overwhelmed that someone had thought they were 'worth' so much more than a tin of tomatoes or tuna. It really struck a chord with me, as I had been putting pasta, rice, tomatoes, tuna in the collection basket every week. So today my 'once a month' donation was Marmite, Gold Blend coffee, Tampax, factor 50 sunscreen for children, stroopwaffles and a multi pack of premium cat food.

"
I’ve been chatting to a relative who manages a food bank. She told me of their philosophy of regarding their boxes as a gift rather than a handout (never thought of it like that) - so they won’t include any bashed tins or torn packets, nothing that they wouldn’t put in their own trolley. And encourage their volunteers to balance the pasta and baked beans with some decent coffee or posh biscuits."

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This thread, therefore, is intended as a way to up our foodbank donation game while keeping it MoneySaving. Please share:

  • coupons, apps, offers and freebies to help bring down the cost of a groceries shop
  • information about what donations are and aren't accepted
  • your experiences of benefitting from or donating to a food bank
  • seasonal donation ideas, eg, at Christmas
  • (ideally and eventually) information from volunteers about what items they're usually short on, or common mistakes, or tips.

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A few useful links:

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Comments

  • PennyForThem_2
    PennyForThem_2 Posts: 1,036
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    Why hasn't this thread got any comments?

    I am going to be very, very contraversial here - why has anybody got the 'right' other than children, to eat 3 meals a day?
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,345
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    Now that I finally have a phone that can have more than a game of tetris on it I would love to get a couple of those 2for apps.  Someone at work was raving about them where they could get things BOGOF or completely free.  We had tried to promote this for the food bank so that even those on a tight budget might be able to nab something to stick in the collection box by the store exit.

    Anyone got links they can share?  I didn't save the info and am no longer in contact with that colleague.

    ALSO - don't forget that August is a tough time for families.  Kids aren't at school so don't get free lunches and that on it's own puts extra pressure on families. Add to that the fact that some parents aren't at work so as to look after kids and so not just finding extra to feed them but also under pressure of often a reduced pay packet AND kids wanting to go out and do things that cost ££.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • Misslayed
    Misslayed Posts: 14,006
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    Why hasn't this thread got any comments?

    I am going to be very, very contraversial here - why has anybody got the 'right' other than children, to eat 3 meals a day?
    I wonder if people who use the expression 'three meals a day' actually use it as shorthand for 'enough food to sustain a person for 24 hours'?
    I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.
  • Grumpy_chap
    Grumpy_chap Posts: 14,445
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    Would it be better if people were able to make regular (or irregular) cash donations to foodbanks rather than donating whatever they choose to buy an extra one of into the baskets?

    I say this because our local food bank does not work in the manner it should.  Today there is a post on the local FB group asking for specific items that are required.  At other times, there are posts on the local FB group saying they have too much  of XYZ and to save it going to waste anyone can go and collect some, with a "please" at the end.

    If cash donations were accepted, the food bank could better manage the mix and flow of produce to meet the needs.

    I have offered cash / monetary donations in the past to the local food bank and they decline saying that cannot be accepted.  Our local food bank will also only accept donations between 10 am and 12 noon on a Friday, which is not the most convenient.
  • Mnoee
    Mnoee Posts: 798
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    Lots of food banks can and do accept cash, which is always the best thing to donate. As well as stocking up on things they need more of, they can often get deals on bulk purchases of things they get through a lot of. 
  • Misslayed
    Misslayed Posts: 14,006
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    Would it be better if people were able to make regular (or irregular) cash donations to foodbanks rather than donating whatever they choose to buy an extra one of into the baskets?

    I say this because our local food bank does not work in the manner it should.  Today there is a post on the local FB group asking for specific items that are required.  At other times, there are posts on the local FB group saying they have too much  of XYZ and to save it going to waste anyone can go and collect some, with a "please" at the end.

    If cash donations were accepted, the food bank could better manage the mix and flow of produce to meet the needs.

    I have offered cash / monetary donations in the past to the local food bank and they decline saying that cannot be accepted.  Our local food bank will also only accept donations between 10 am and 12 noon on a Friday, which is not the most convenient.
    There's always the option of donating cash to https://fareshare.org.uk/, they distribute nationally, so it wouldn't go to a local foodbank. I suspect receiving cash donations would require a paid member of staff to manage and take responsibility for the money. 
    I’m a Senior Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Competition Time, Site Feedback and Marriage, Relationships and Families boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] All views are my own and not the official line of Money Saving Expert.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,345
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    Our local food bank has always been happy to be given money so they can get exactly what they really need.  Also there are expenses in running them - a few paid staff and the basics like rent, stationery, petrol for the trucks that move things from their storage to their distribution points.  It may be that an individual food bank has no way to deal with cash but may have an online presence and be able to accept one-off or monthly donations.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • silverwhistle
    silverwhistle Posts: 3,774
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    I've recently started a small standing order to my local foodbank, on the basis that it gives them far more flexibility. When I did remember to give stuff to the collection basket I never put in anything I wouldn't eat myself, so bronze die and not the cheapest pasta, for example. Not quite as good as posh biscuits but with the same thoughts in mind.
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