Get help

How to get help

If your income is too low to afford food and essentials, we're here to help

In order to provide the best help for your situation, our food bank works with local agencies. If your income is too low to afford the food and essentials you need, they may be able to refer you to us with a food bank voucher. 

Local agencies that refer to us include: Citizens Advice Wandsworth, Wandsworth Borough Council teams, schools, children’s centres, housing associations, GPs and health visitors, social services, community mental health teams and other local charities like South West London Law Centres, Wandsworth Carers and Little Village.

We really recommend also applying for a crisis grant from Wandsworth Council, available to Wandsworth residents in financial hardship up to 3 times in 12 months. These are supermarket vouchers (approx £30 per person in a household) and gas and electricity vouchers for pre-payment meters (£10/£20 on each).

They’re grants not loans, so you won’t need to pay them back. For help to apply for a crisis grant online, you can phone Citizens Advice Wandsworth helpline on 020 4529 0674 (10am-12pm weekdays).

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).

If you still need food bank help, and you’re not in touch with a local agency who can refer you to us, please:

 

1. Contact Citizens Advice Wandsworth

You can call Citizens Advice Wandsworth’s free AdviceLine on 0808 278 7833 to speak to an adviser (open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm). They’ll talk confidentially with you about your situation and refer you to our food bank if needed. You can also complete an online form and an adviser will call you back – please make sure you tick the ‘I need a food voucher’ box.

2. Call our free national helpline

Alternatively you can call our national helpline for free on 0808 208 2138, and talk confidentially to a trained Citizens Advice adviser.  This helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm (closed on public holidays).

Like local Citizens Advice Wandsworth, they can help address your crisis and provide support to maximise your income, help you navigate the benefits system, and identify any additional grants you could be entitled to. If needed, they’ll issue you with a voucher so you can get an emergency food parcel from your local food bank.

3. Get in touch with us

If you haven’t been able to get through to the local or national helplines above, please call or email our food bank. We can talk through your situation and try to put you in touch with a relevant local agency.

 

What happens next?

The person referring you to our food bank will discuss with you which of our welcome centres is most convenient for you to collect food essentials from. This is where you can pick up the food you need, and find further support if needed to try to resolve the difficulties you face.

When you visit us, we’ll discuss any dietary  or cultural food needs you may have, and if you need items like nappies and baby wipes. If you’re not already receiving advice and support to try to sort out what’s causing lack of money for food, we can offer support from our Foodbank Advice Project. This would be face-to-face or phone advice from one our Foodbank Adviser Project advisers, who can help you try to resolve urgent problems with issues like benefits, housing, employment or debt.

You can find out more here.

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