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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 help them apply online for a crisis grant from Wandsworth Council. 

The Council has a budget of £550,000 for these in 2021/22, so please help your clients access this local lifeline.

It only takes 5 minutes to complete a crisis grant application, and it means that your client could receive £30pp supermarket vouchers – enabling them to choose and buy the food they most need – plus prepayment fuel vouchers to help them with heating and cooking costs.

Crisis grants are available to Wandsworth residents up to 3 times in 12 months during 2021/22. They’re also open to people with no recourse to public funds until 31 March 2022.

These are grants, not loans, so people won’t need to pay them back.

There are also other support grants available, like discretionary housing payments (to help with rent arrears) and community care grants (for white goods and essential furniture).

Now you’ve done that, what next?

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 a person or family in severe hardship to us. However please speak to us if you’re making more than three referrals in a short space of time. This is so we can ensure together that the person is receiving all support possible to solve their financial hardship asap, so that they can afford the food and essentials they need.

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 seven 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. 
  2. Provide person’s contact number: Please provide a working phone number for the person you’re referring if at all possible. It’s helpful for all referrals – but essential for deliveries. Without one we can’t arrange the delivery!
  3. Complete cause of crisis: Please provide as much detail as possible 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.
  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. Please note any that we need to be aware of. 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. Print the completed e-voucher:  Please give the completed voucher to the person you’re referring. This will ensure they have the address and opening times of the selected food bank welcome centre on it, and having a paper copy gives people confidence when visiting us. If this isn’t possible, please text, email or phone the 10-digit voucher code to the person you’re referring.

Please note that we will only phone people who need food to be delivered to them, to arrange delivery. For people who will collect food, we’d ask that you take responsibility for ensuring they know exactly where and when to come to our centres. Thanks.

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


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