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Information for food bank referrers

Please read this before referring someone in need to us.

Before you refer someone who is a Wandsworth resident to our foodbank, please consider helping them apply for vital emergency financial help from Wandsworth Council. These are grants, not loans, so people won’t need to pay them back.

It only takes 5 minutes to apply online for a crisis grant, and your client could receive from £30 per person supermarket vouchers – enabling them to choose and buy the food they most need. They could also receive prepayment fuel vouchers to help them with heating and cooking costs.

Wandsworth Council has a budget of around £800,000 in 2024/25 for crisis grants for food and fuel, specifically to help residents in hardship. It has also created an online Cost of Living hub which has lots of very useful information for you and for the people you support.

How to refer to Wandsworth Foodbank

If the person you’re supporting still needs emergency food from us, please refer them to us using our online e-voucher system.

There is no limit to the number of times you can refer someone in severe hardship to us, if they do not have enough income for food. However, food banks are a short-term crisis provision, and so please speak to us if someone needs more than three referrals within six months (you can see this on the referral database). We can then ensure together that the person is receiving all support possible to solve their financial hardship, with the aim of them having enough income for essentials like food and no longer needing to use the food bank.

Please contact us if you only have access to the previous paper vouchers – or if you’re not yet a voucher partner – so you can sign up to start using e-vouchers.

When you create an e-voucher, you need to:

  1. Select collection or delivery: Ideally most people will collect their food from one of our six welcome centres across Wandsworth borough. However please tick ‘delivery’ and then select ‘Wandsworth FB Warehouse: Deliveries’ instead of a food bank centre, if someone is unable to collect because of disability or illness. Please note we only have a limited number of deliveries on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. 
  2. Provide person’s contact number: Please provide a working phone number for the person you’re referring. It’s helpful for all referrals as we will send people a confirmation text message if they’re collecting food. Contact details are essential for deliveries – without one we can’t arrange the delivery!
  3. Fully complete ‘reason for referral’: Please provide as much detail on the referral as possible, including about what’s causing lack of income for food and essentials. This helps us offer the best support and advice to the person you’re referring, as well as providing essential data for policy work.
  4. Obtain consent re dietary requirements: In the section ‘Notes regarding parcel requirements’, please obtain consent for us to store details about someone’s dietary requirements. This helps us continue to provide diet- and culturally-appropriate bespoke parcels while also being GDPR compliant.
  5. Select which food bank centre: For collections, once you’ve entered someone’s details, you’ll see a list of the closest food bank centres to their postcode. By default the person’s closest food bank centre is selected. However please discuss this with your client, check the opening times are suitable, and ensure it’s a Wandsworth Foodbank centre (rather than one in a neighbouring borough). Please then book the person into the welcome centre that is best for them, and make sure they know where and when to visit.
  6. Give the referral code to the person you’re referring:  Please give the completed single use referral voucher code to the person you’re referring, and ensure they’re clear about where and when to visit one of our centres. You can print, text, email or phone the 10-digit voucher code to the person you’re referring.

Any questions, please email [email protected] or call us on 020 7326 9428.


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