This weekend we have seen supermarket shelves around Greater Manchester emptied.
Despite cries from supermarkets that supply chains are strong, many people have still been panic buying – leading to shortages of essential items like handwash, toilet paper, dried pasta and rice.
This sort of action only leaves the most vulnerable people in our society at risk.
It’s also a symptom of privilege. Lest we forget, not everyone has the luxury of being able to just go and stock up at the shops.
To stem the spread of Covid-19, everyone needs to be washing their hands – not just those who went to Sainsbury’s and bought up all the hand sanitiser for themselves.
So whilst you’re stocking up on supplies for your family at the shop, please think of those less fortunate who are still relying on food bank donations to keep them going.
And if you are one of the people who panic-bought 100 rolls of toilet roll, this is your chance to give back and make it right.
If everyone just picked up one additional item for their local food bank (or opted to make a cash donation) it would make a huge impact.
Where is your closest food bank (and what should you donate)?
There are currently more than 150 such food banks across Greater Manchester – typically local charities run by a community for their neighbours in need.
Over 90% of food in The Trussell Trust network is donated by the public, so your donation will make a massive difference no matter how big or small.
For those looking to donate food, dried, non-perishable and canned items are always highly prized. But other items that feature frequently on needs lists include sanitary products, toiletries and clothing.
You can also check what items your local food bank needs most here.
Here are just some examples where your donation can help. Please see the individual websites to check drop-off details. For the full list, visit Greater Together Manchester.
Manchester Central Food Bank
Part of The Trussell Trust network, Manchester Central Food Bank on Oxford Road was founded in 2013 by a group of students to address food poverty and has since helped thousands of people. It is able to receive donations Monday-Friday between 10am and 4pm. Contributions can also be made through Sainsbury’s Local at 339-401 Oxford Road and Tesco Extra on Hyde Road in Gorton.
Manchester Universities’ Catholic Student Chaplaincy, Avila House, 335-337 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PG
Manchester South Central Food Bank
Bosses hand out over 1,516 three-day emergency parcels here a year. Based in Hulme, during the summer holidays last year the food bank struggled to meet demand and was forced to turn some people away. Donations can be left at the Stretford Tesco on Chester Road anytime Monday to Saturday, and between 11am and 5pm on Sundays.
Unit 3, The Wesley Centre, Corner of Old York Street/ Royce Road, Hulme, Manchester, M15 5BP
Compassion Food Bank
Based on Moss Lane East in Moss Side, Compassion Prison Ministry and Food Bank is a Pentecostal multi-denominational group which provides Christian witness across the prison service, as well as a community food bank for local users. They host breakfast clubs and coffee mornings, as well as providing both food parcels and fresh meals to help those in need, with donations greatly appreciated.
300 Moss Lane East, Moss Side, Manchester, M14 4SS
Fallowfield & Withington Food Bank
The Fallowfield & Withington Food Bank is also in The Trussell Trust network. They welcome donations to the building itself (10am-7pm), and there are also collection points at Withington Methodist Church (also 10am-7pm), RBS (West Didsbury and Wilmslow Road branches) and also Sainsbury’s (496 Wilmslow Rd and Birchfields Road branches).
Union Chapel, 2b Wellington Road, Fallowfield, Manchester, M14 6EQ
A Manchester homeless charity which has been operating for 26 years and helping as many as 600 people every week. Barnabus is currently open to donations of non-perishable food and toiletries which can be made to their support office Monday to Friday, 10am – 3pm. These contributions will make a crucial difference to providing hard up families with more resources at a particularly demanding time of.
61 Bloom Street, Manchester, M1 3LY
Salford Food Bank
For anyone who lives in, or closer, to the Salford side of town, Salford Food Bank accepts donations of non-perishable food and toiletries. People wanting to contribute can drop-off donations at the Food Bank on Great Clowes Street from 9am – 5pm on weekdays. It is advised that people get in touch in advance to check that someone is available to take the donation. Various supermarkets in the area also serve as collection points, with more information available on the website.
Mocha Parade, Salford M7 1QE
Revive food bank in Salford hands out three-day food parcels for refugees and asylum seekers. Items frequently in demand include dried and tinned food, rice, pasta, noodles, tinned tomatoes, beans, tuna and canned beef, household items, furniture and prams, computers and laptops. They also accept cash donations.
Spiritan Centre, Northallerton Road, Lower Kersal, Salford, M7 3TP
Coffee4Craig was set up by founder Risha Lancaster in memory of her brother, who died of a heroin overdose in 2013. Coffee4Craig began as a reaction to his death and a desire to make the world a little better for those who find themselves on the streets. Their Salford-based food bank is in frequent need of boxer shorts, socks, coffee, tea, milk, sugar, toiletries and sanitary products. The charity also has an Amazon wishlist.
The Woolpack. Belvedere Road, Salford Pendleton, M6 5HE
Salford Loaves and Fishes
Salford Loaves and Fishes was formed following the closure of Salford Cathedral Drop-in Centre to carry on valuable work with homeless and vulnerable people. The new centre has a strong Christian ethos but is open to people of all faiths or none and strives to be inclusive. Frequently in need of non-perishable food and drink, the centre also welcomes donations of socks, boxer shorts, underpants, disposable razors, shaving gel/foam, shampoo and shower gel.
1 Paddington Close, Salford, M6 5PL
Storehouse Food Bank
Storehouse is Bolton’s food bank and distribution project, providing emergency food parcels to individuals and families who find themselves in need of help. It is open for collection by voucher holders on Tuesday mornings. Older people, those with mobility issues, or single parents and carers with young children receive a delivery on Monday evenings.
Environ House, Salop Street, Bolton, BL2 1DZ
This local church in Bury also operates as a food bank for local people in need. It is open Wednesdays 1.30–3.30pm and offers a home delivery service for people with access difficulties. They also give out food on evenings and weekends by appointment only, meaning any donations are very welcome.
Link House, 35 Walmersley Road, Bury, BL9 5AE
Oldham Food Bank
Part of The Trussell Trust, Oldham food bank has over 14 different drop off locations for those donating food including Chadderton and Shaw Asda’s, Sainsburys Oldham and Lees, Moorside, Grotton and Delph Co-ops. Urgently needed items include tinned rice pudding, juice, tinned fruit, UHT milk, toiletries, toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, tinned tomatoes and fish.
Salvation Army. Shaw, Oldham, OL2 8QY
Rochdale Food Bank
The Rochdale food bank is open Saturdays only Saturday 10.30 – 12.00. Urgent donations of semi-skimmed milk (UHT), long-life fruit juice and sugar are needed here alongside toiletries and other non-perishable foodstuffs.
1 Wesley Street, Small Bridge, Rochdale, OL12 9RW
Petrus Day Centre
Petrus Hub, 73 Great George Street, Rochdale, OL16 1QG
The Wellspring in Stockport is a resource centre for homeless and disadvantaged people. It also provides referrals into accommodation and has so far supported over 1500 rough sleepers into housing. Open 365 days a year, it serves around 100-150 meals a day. As well as donations of non-perishable food, fresh food and baked goods are also very welcome here.
The Wellspring, Harvey Street, Stockport, SK1 1YD
Stockport Trussell Trust
Urgently needed items include tinned fruit, rice pudding, long life orange juice and milk, tinned tomatoes and petfood. Donations can be left at Tesco Portwood and Handforth Dean, Sainsbury’s Hazel Grove and Cheadle, Asda Hazel Grove, Stockport and all Waitrose stores in baskets near checkouts.
St Martin’s Church, 112 Crescent Park, Norris Bank, Stockport, SK4 2JE
Atherton & Leigh Trussell Trust
This local Wigan food bank needs all the donations it can get this Christmas. The centre is also hosting a food collection drive at Atherton and Leigh Tescos 21st-23rd November and on the hunt for volunteers.
Olympic House, Platt Street, Platt Bridge, Wigan, WN2 5DA
The Brick Food Bank
The Brick exists to put an end to poverty and homelessness in Wigan and Leigh and relies on local support to exist. It offers a huge range of services to people who are homeless, in poverty or facing debt crisis. It is also Wigan’s largest foodbank.
The centre is currently seeking financial donations to help it support the community through the winter. Just £5 will provide a shower and breakfast for a homeless person twice a week, whilst £57 provides a day’s skills training to help someone back into employment.
No matter what you have to give, know it will make a difference.