How to make a referral

As a foodbank we are committed to providing welcoming, hospitality and support to all those who visit foodbank centres. 

But we know that an emergency parcel is not the answer to poverty – and does not address the underlying issues that many who are forced to turn to us for help are facing.

That is why we would ask you to also explore other options available in Southwark particularly:

  • Cash first options
  • Southwark Local Welfare Support Scheme (Southwark emergency support scheme)
  • Benefit Calculator


Links and Signposts

Money Worries Leaflet   

The “Worrying About Money?” leaflet is a simple and straightforward resource for people facing financial crisis (particularly those who are digitally marginalised), as well as the staff and volunteers who may be supporting them. It offers a quick way to see what advice is available and which local agencies are best placed to help. 

The aim of these referral leaflets is to provide a “cash first” response to food insecurity – reducing the need for emergency food aid by helping people access any existing financial entitlements and advice on income maximisation. 


Southwark Emergency Support Scheme

Southwark Emergency Support Scheme (SESS) can help if you’re a Southwark resident who is facing a crisis, emergency or disaster and needs help.


Benefits Calculator

Use the free and confidential Benefits Calculator to find out what benefits you are entitled to claim .

Research and Advocacy

The cost of living crisis is having an impact on all of us. As food and energy prices soar, families across the UK are
feeling the biggest squeeze on their incomes in a generation, and there is no sign of a let up.

  • Research on the cost of living:

    People with experience of these debts have worked closely with the Trussell Trust and Humankind
    Research to identify how to improve collection and stem the growing tide of problem debt to



How to get help

If you need foodbank support, please follow the following guidance:

  1. Make contact with a referral agency to get your voucher filled in (see “How to Get a Voucher” for details).

  2. The referrer will then send the e-voucher directly to us.

  3. Once the referral is received by the foodbank team, the referral is processed. Southwark Foodbank are unable to provide same day collections.

  4. Clients are contacted directly by phone and offered the next available collection time.

How to get a voucher

All people needing support from the foodbank need to have a voucher issued to them.

Vouchers can be issued by voucher referral agencies and if you do not have contact with one already, please call the Citizens Advice Bureau on 0808 208 2138.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, please call or make a note in your journal to your work coach who can make a referral for you.

If you or someone you know needs support in Spanish, please call the Latin American Disabled People’s Project, on 020 7793 8399, who are supporting us by making referrals to Spanish speaking families.

Si vives en Southwark y necesitas el apoyo del banco de alimentos de Southwark, por favor llama: Al Proyecto de Personas con Discapacidades Latíno Americanas, su número es 020 7793 8399

People who use our service have said...

I received my foodbank items this afternoon and would like to say a very big thank you. I was so touched by the kindness it feels to receive this in my time of need!


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