Information for referrers

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.

We want referrers to be mindful when issuing food bank vouchers so that a food parcel is given as a last resort and accompanying other support.

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

  • Worrying About Money 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 need help.

Other Southwark Council Support

Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP)

Council Tax Reduction

 Benefits Calculator

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


Research and Advocacy

The Trussell Trust’s latest and most in-depth study on Hunger reveals its causes, impact and who is affected.

Hunger in the UK

Campaign: Guarantee Our Essentials

The Trussell Trust are working with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to call for an Essentials Guarantee within Universal Credit, which means the basic rate at least covers life’s essentials and that support can never be pulled below that level.

Guarantee our essentials – The Trussell Trust

Guarantee our Essentials: reforming Universal Credit to ensure we can all afford the essentials in hard times | Joseph Rowntree Foundation (

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. Once the agency has made a referral for you, please ask them for a physical copy of the referral or the E-voucher number. 
  3. Take the E-voucher number to the next available food bank session to collect your food parcel.
Hands with paper next to crates

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 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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