1 Are you just helping people who can't help themselves?
No, certainly not. Over half of children living in poverty are from working households. The increase in cost of living but with no rise in wages, is leading to many people running out of food.
2 Can people just turn up for free food?
No, they have to be referred by a local agency, where they are issued with a voucher.
3 Do people become dependent on you?
We deal only with people in a crisis. We work closely with agencies to ensure that once the crisis is resolved, no further food vouchers are issued.
4 Is food bank use growing because job centres send people?
In Norwich, we don’t get referrals from the Job Centre. In other areas, Job Centre referrals account for only 3% of the total.
5 Do you give out junk food?
No. Users are given a nutritionally balanced food parcel, using non-perishable food that will keep.
6 Are you part of social services?
No, we are an independent charity.
7 Do you get food from supermarkets that has gone out of date.
No. We haven’t facilities for storing perishables, and we don't give people sub-standard food.
8 Do you really need to have so many distribution centres?
Yes, because people can't afford the cost of transport from their local area. We have to be where we are needed.
9 Is the need growing?
In the 12 months ended 28th February 2014, Norwich foodbank provided 9,614 (6,465 adults and 3,149 children) local people in crisis with three days’ worth of food via introductions from over 80 local care agencies [compared with the 12 months to 28th February 2013 6,042 (4,255 adults and 1,787 children)], an increase of over 59% year on year.