We are a Christian based charity committed to easing poverty on our doorstep. We started out in September 2013 as a collaboration of 5 Southend churches. We now have seven distribution centres and a warehouse.

We are part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

We work with over 80 local referral agencies who do an assessment of the person’s situation and issue them with a voucher for three days’ of emergency food. They then come to one of our distribution centres in the area to redeem them. There is a distribution centre, all run by volunteers, open every day apart from Sunday. Each voucher presented to us means a conversation, an opportunity to listen or to sign-post. It’s an opportunity to pray with someone if they wish and for them to perhaps find a bigger community to be part of. We can’t offer counselling, but our aim is to signpost people to agencies who can help them. Issues that guests present can be as varied as illness, benefit delays or changes, death, debt issues. We aim to provide a non-judgemental place where people can be helped. The majority (42%) of people helped are single people aged 25-64 years or single parents (26%) with children aged 5-11 years old.

We rely on donations by the public to provide our guests with food. People can use our permanent collection points in supermarkets like Tesco, Waitrose and the Co-op and churches around Southend.

In our four years, we’ve had over 137 metric tonnes of food donated from over 150 different donors, including 26 churches and 29 schools. 72% comes in from regular weekly donations, 17% from supermarket collections, 11% from harvest collections. We have given out over 119 metric tonnes of food.

The donations then go to our warehouse, where they are weighed, marked and sorted. They are packed into boxes to go out to the distribution centres. This is all thanks to our committed group of volunteers to give up their time and expertise to help us. There are only two paid members of staff and without the volunteers, we would have to shut our doors.

How you can help

You can give your time, money or quite simply, food! The item we most often run out of is tinned/steamed puddings. We also give out toiletries, toilet paper, washing powder, sanitary products, nappies and washing up liquid. Where people do not have any disposable income, these things can become a luxury. If our stocks become depleted, we often have to buy food or other supplies.
Please make cheques payable to Southend Foodbank and post them to:
Southend Foodbank
Friendship House
484 Southchurch Road
Southend on Sea
Alternatively please make bank transfers to:
Bank Name: Lloyds Bank plc
Account Name: Southend Foodbank
Sort Code: 30-65-22
Account No: 75600360
Download: Gift Aid Form

Warehouse Volunteer

We need help to weigh, sort and store donated food before it’s made into parcels for clients to collect. You could help in this vital work to ensure we have the right food available at all times. You will be part of a brilliant team of volunteers from all walks of life. The warehouse is currently open three times a week. Some of the volunteers have been volunteering since we opened five years ago. You do not need any special skills apart from being a willing and enthusiastic person! Making cups of tea and coffee to keep everyone going is a bonus!


We need drivers to transport food weekly from our warehouse to a distribution centre. If you can have access to a vehicle and can help, we would appreciate it.

Helping at a foodbank centre

Meet clients and give out food parcels. Have an informal chat with clients over a cup of tea, to discuss their situation and signpost to further support. The ability to offer a warm welcome, speaking to people, making them feel at ease is great. People are needed to pack the food into bags, make refreshments for guests and speaking to people are all needed.

Mala came to our foodbank a few years ago. She moved to the area with her then husband and their three children. As a result of a break down in her marriage, she was alone with her children away from her family and country. She couldn’t go back because they had their children together. Thankfully, her sister-in-law put them up temporarily and told her about foodbank. She came to us and received more than what she came for.

The welcome she received brought her back to church where the foodbank operates from even though in her words: she didn’t know what she was coming for. She has since been baptised with her eldest son soon to follow.

A few years down the line, Mala is living with her family, has a job and is a valued, loved part of her church community.