BanktheFood are on a mission to ensure foodbanks have exactly what they need when they need it. The UK charity hopes to solve the communication issues in real-time supply and demand.

A shocking 9.52 million tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK, meanwhile, more than 3.5 million people are seeking support from food banks.

Volunteers Natasha and Simon at Southend Foodbank
Natasha and Simon from Southend food bank (Credit: @BanktheFood)

What issues are food banks facing?

Social media posts often go unnoticed or expire quickly. As a result, food banks are inundated with one item, or have too little of another.

Communicating real-time needs to the local community can be a time-consuming task. In many cases, this takes volunteers away from crucial tasks like collecting and distributing food and other essential items. Food for those with allergies and dietary requirements also factors into these food bank users’ needs. 

Credit: Aaron Doucett

How does the BanktheFood app work?

Download the free app and follow the instructions to get started.

Once you’ve followed your local food bank, you’ll receive a helpful ‘ping’ with a reminder of your food banks’ needs when shopping in your local supermarket. 

You’re then free to choose what you’d like to donate and leave your donation at the collection box at the end of your shopping trip.

Hear from the founder and users of the app

Emma Spring, BanktheFood co-founder, explains: “It’s such a simple way to genuinely help the people around you who are struggling and who need help now more than ever. The app means people using food banks get a balance of what they need. It would be great if everyone donated just one thing. Each donation will be putting food on someone’s table, possibly the same day.”

The app has been running since 2021 and was initially trialled by Southend Food Bank.

Natasha Copus, Southend Food Bank Manager, explains: “One of the things that people say is that they are normally reminded about the food bank when they see our collection points after they have already paid when it’s too late. Having a reminder ping on your phone before you start shopping is brilliant.”

Sally Gunnell OBE supports the app: “No one should go hungry. With so many families in our communities facing food insecurity, I wanted to share a brilliant app with you from the charity @BanktheFood. Made in Essex, just like me, it’s a simple but clever way to make sure that generous food bank donations are targeted to provide the most effective support. Check it out, download the free app and if you are in a position to do so, please get on board. We all have a part to play, and together we can make a difference.”

#WasteNot Campaign

Stop Food Waste Day aims to ignite change regarding the global food waste issue. By drawing attention to the problem, and sharing practical and impactful ways we can all change our behaviour to minimise food waste.

To mark Stop Food Waste Day on the 27th of April, BanktheFood has launched #WasteNot, a campaign asking shoppers to reduce food waste by swapping an item from their weekly shop and donating it to their community food bank.

Take part in #WasteNot, download the free BanktheFood app, find your local food bank and help get the goods they need. 

Share this article

About Author

Uzma Gulbahar holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University College of London. She is particularly interested in exploring untold stories surrounding marginalised groups, identity and culture.

Comments are closed.