© 2019 Wybone Ltd
In 2022/23, around 3 million people facing hardship used a food bank in the UK. For the last decade, these numbers have been rising each year. And with winter arriving, The Trussell Trust predicts they’ll be giving out a food parcel every 8 seconds.
But in recent years, charities, supermarkets and businesses have been providing food donation points across the country; all to ensure mouths don’t go hungry for the less fortunate who can’t always afford to purchase food for themselves.
With what’s shaping to be a difficult winter for food banks, we feel it’s necessary to give you everything you need to know about food donation.
At the end, we’ll also talk about how our Food Donation Bin is making a difference.
How do I donate to a food bank near me?
If you’re looking to donate food, you won’t have to look far. You can donate food at your local food bank and most UK supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Lidl. Donation points can also include churches and businesses. A quick Google search will let you know exactly where you need to go. If you don’t have food with you to donate, many food banks also accept money.
Is it better to donate food or money to a food bank?
Put simply, the decision is yours. Whether it’s money or food, food banks will, at the very least, be appreciative of your help! The perks of donating with money (an option that’s not so widely discussed) can help food banks, supermarkets or businesses buy non-perishable food they may be low on, in case people who donate food seem to donate the same sort of items.
What food items can be donated?
To donate food, you’ll need to make sure they’re non-perishable. These can be defined as packaged or shelved foods that can be stored at room temperature for a prolonged period without spoiling.
These can include:
- Boxed cereal
- Whole grains (oats, rice)
- Peanut butter
- Boxed biscuits
- Canned vegetables
- Canned soup
- Canned tuna
- Canned fruit
- Dried fruit
- Bottled water
- Cereal bars
- Powdered milk
What can I not donate to a food bank?
You cannot donate perishable foods to food banks, these are foods that must be consumed in a short period to avoid them spoiling.
- Cooked leftovers
- Fresh fruit and veg
Do food banks take food past the best-before date?
No. Food banks do not accept foods that have gone beyond their best-before date. Before donating food, be sure to check the expiration date on the packaging, especially if you’re purchasing non-perishable foods on a discount as this may mean they’re a part of clearance and expire very shortly.
Can I donate food at Sainsbury's?
As Sainsbury’s have put it themselves, they see no use in wasting their own food they haven’t managed to sell. They recognise the rise in food poverty and cost of living, so they’ve created more than 2100 donation partnerships across their stores throughout the country, including over 1000 food donation points as of 2017 (chances are this is much higher now!).
Donated food is then sent to food banks, homeless charities and soup kitchens. You’ll be able to find Sainsbury’s food donation points after the checkout, so you can plan what foods you’ll be donating before you have to pay.
What is the best food charity to donate to in the UK?
There are a number of respected food charities based in the UK, these include Action Against Hunger, Marie Curie and WFP. A popular food charity in the UK is Feeding Britain, an award-winning charity that works to ensure nobody goes hungry. They support 80 anti-hunger partnerships, consisting of more than 700 frontline organisations. You can read more about this charity here.
The Wybone Food Donation Bin
Being a bin manufacturing company, we received requests over the years for a food donation bin. When we did some research on food donation as a whole, we realised that a proper bin, specifically for food donation, was few and far between. You’ll often find food donation points in the form of large open baskets. An issue we found was, that although they’re easy to drop off food, it’s just as easy to take food out of it, too.
That’s why we produced a food donation bin with a galvanised steel lid and base; a very durable type of steel with a rust and corrosion-resistant features. The bin also has a polyethylene transparent body so the public can see exactly what and how much food has been donated, helping people decide what to donate and how full the unit is getting.
We even manufactured and delivered some of our Food Donation Bins to The Trussell Trust, which supplied these to several shopping centres in the UK. These particular Food Donation Bins came with a push-lock to prevent the public from gaining entry, and each bin had personal, bespoke artwork.
The Wybone Food Donation Bin has been a huge success for us, making it one of the most popular products on our website. It’s also allowed us to better understand the importance of food donation.
As we conclude our article, here are the biggest takeaways…
- Food donation is quick and easy
- Food banks are in for a tough winter
- Donating food instead of money, or money instead of food, is appreciated!
- It’s important to know what types of foods you can and can’t donate
- You can donate food to most supermarkets, especially Sainsbury’s
- The Wybone Food Donation Bin has made a difference for large charities like The Trussell Trust