Mythbusting the common misconceptions about foodbanks

A foodbank volunteer holds donations of tinned food over a crate

CalendarPosted on 16th January 2024

Foodbanks are, sadly, far from a new thing. Widnes Foodbank began assisting local people in need in 2012, and Trussell Trust opened their first foodbank back in 2000. During the years of operating this much-needed lifeline you may have heard various ‘facts’ about how foodbanks are run.

But not all facts are as they seem. Today, we’re going to look at some of the common myths people believe about foodbanks, and explain what actually happens.

Myth 1: Only people on benefits use foodbanks

False. Widnes Foodbank provide food to all local residents who finds themselves in crisis. We are here to help all of our community, and have been doing so since 2012.

Myth 2: You get given just unhealthy food

False. Our charity provides food parcels against a standard packing list, adapted to the size of the household, and follows healthy eating guidelines. Where possible we also provide bread, fruit and vegetables if available. Respect and dignity is a priority for everyone at Widnes Foodbank, and we will never give out of date or damaged food to clients.

Myth 3: Widnes Foodbank get all of their food from supermarkets

False. Whilst we get some donations from supermarkets the majority of food we give out comes from donations from people who live in our own community. We are also grateful to receive donations from local organisations, businesses, schools and churches.

Myth 4: You can just walk in and get food

False. All our clients have been referred to us by a frontline agency to ensure that they are being supported through their circumstances. If someone does turn up to our door we will signpost to a referral agent with a meal to ensure they are fed, whilst getting their foodbank referral.

Myth 5: You will be refused if you have had more than three vouchers

False. We never turn away anyone that is hungry. If someone is becoming reliant on us we will ask if there are any other agencies or charities that are able to help with their crisis situation. Sometimes it can take a while to be back on your feet. We are here to help, not judge.

If you would like to support our work there are so many ways you can get involved. Big or small, time or monetary, every donation makes a huge difference. Find out more about volunteering opportunities, how to donate money or donate food.