Foodbank Any Questions | FAQs February 2021

14th February 2021

  1. What services does the Northern Devon Foodbank provide? 

Our main aim is to help people in crisis move from food poverty to food security.  In the short term, this involves providing emergency food packages but the Foodbank is much more than handing out food, we try to resolve the causes of hunger at source.

2. Can anyone in need get help from the Foodbank? 

Yes, everybody in short or long term need is welcome to use our services.  To help ensure the underlying need is resolved, we ask all those requiring our services to seek professional advice and to be referred to us by a frontline professional.

3. How do people get help from the Foodbank? 

Professional advisors will treat our customers with the dignity and respect their deserve and will issue a Foodbank voucher where this is needed.  When necessary the Foodbank will provide an initial food parcel whilst expert help is sought.

4. What immediate help do you provide? 

A Foodbank voucher entitles customers to between 3 and 7 days supply of food, appropriate to the number of people in the household and any dietary requirements.   Whilst their food parcel is being prepared, our volunteers will chat with the customer with a view to helping with any additional support.

5. How many vouchers can a customer receive? 

There is no fixed limit.  Provided that the customer is engaged in the process of resolving their crisis, the professional concerned can continue to issue vouchers until the crisis is over.  Most customers only access our services 2 or 3 times, but in some cases this can extend to several months.

6.  What types of food does each customer receive? 

We aim to offer food packages that are interesting and nutritionally balanced.  We primarily deal in store cupboard essentials (packets and tins) but some of our centres also supply fresh, chilled and frozen goods.  Wherever possible we cater for special dietary requirements and personal preferences, particularly for the children of families that we are supporting.

7.  How many people does the Northern Devon Foodbank support?

During our 2019/20 financial year, we supported more than 9,500 people in crisis.  Most of our customers have families and over 40% of the people we fed over this period were under 16.

8.  How much food does the Northern Devon Foodbank distribute? 

During 2020 we distributed more than 125 tonnes of food and essential supplies, equivalent to over 275,000 meals.  Most of this food was generously donated by the local community.

9.  Where is the Northern Devon Foodbank located? 

The Northern Devon Foodbank has customer facing centres in Barnstaple, Bideford, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lyn Valley and South Molton.  There is also an administration office and warehouse in Bideford.

10. What other services does the Northern Devon Foodbank offer?

Our Ilfracombe Centre runs a community cafe at the Salvation Army Hall on Tuesdays.  This is open to all and food is available for a gift in cash or kind.

We collaborate with other organisations to deliver food education programmes, such as ‘Healthy eating on a budget.’    And we also provide places for supported volunteers and volunteers with special needs.

11. What if people can’t get to one of your Foodbank locations or you are closed? 

We have pre-packed emergency food boxes available at a number of locations, and in exceptional circumstances where a customer is unable to get to us we can arrange a home delivery.

12. What areas does the Northern Devon Foodbank cover? 

We provide for residents in every town and parish of the North Devon and Torridge Districts, equating to 850 square miles.

13. Does the Northern Devon Foodbank benefit from short dated supermarket food? 

We work with several supermarkets to redistribute short dated food and this provides a valuable addition to our supplies.  It’s important to highlight that 50% of food waste happens in households.  This is why we believe food education is so important.

14.  What is the Northern Devon Christmas Fund? 

This fund supports people in longer term need and for over 30 years has provided supermarket vouchers to qualifying families, enabling them to do their Christmas shopping.  In 2020 we supported 269 families, with £12,500 of vouchers.

15.  What principles does the Northern Devon Foodbank adhere to? 

The Northern Devon Foodbank is registered as a Christian charity and is governed by Christian principles. That does not limit who can work for us or who we support – everyone is welcome.

16.  What other safeguards does the Foodbank have in place? 

The Northern Devon Foodbank is affiliated to the Trussell Trust, a national organisation who provide guidance and systems to ensure that the services we provide are of the highest standard.  We welcome offers of new Trustees who can increase our range of expertise.

17.  How many volunteers do you have? 

We have over 100 amazing volunteers, who look after all aspects of our operation, including customer contact, collecting and sorting food, warehousing, administration, driving etc.

18.  Do you have any employees? 

We have one employee, who controls our administrative office.  As a Christian charity, we believe that people should be properly paid, so we are registered as a Living Wage Foundation employer and use their pay scale.

19.  How can I support the Northern Devon Foodbank? 

We are entirely dependent on the local community for our existence and always pleased to receive offers of food, time or money.  Food donations can be made at most local supermarkets and monetary donations can be made via our Donations Page or direct bank transfer to:

Lloyds Bank
Account: Northern Devon Foodbank
Sort Code: 30-99-08. Account No: 23419568

20.  How do I contact the Northern Devon Foodbank?

Our main address is:
Northern Devon Foodbank, Supreme House, Pitt Lane,
Bideford, EX39 3JA.
Telephone: 01237 422243
Email: [email protected]


The Northern Devon Foodbank.  Restoring dignity.  Reviving Hope. 


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