How our foodbank works

We are part of the Trussell Trust network of Foodbanks and operate under their guidelines.


If you need help the most important step is to get a foodbank voucher.

Read below to find out how to get help. 

We cover the

EH6 + EH7

postcode area. If you live outwith these areas you can find out where to get help below.

who we are

How we work

There are over 1,200 food bank centres in the Trussell Trust network. The services provided by food banks may vary from area to area as they react to the needs of their community to provide help and support to local people in crisis.

Food donations

Non-perishable, in-date food is donated by the public at a range of places, such as schools, churches, and businesses, as well as supermarket collection points. It is then sorted into emergency food parcels by more than 28,000 volunteers, to be given to people in crisis.

Food vouchers

Care professionals such as health visitors, staff at schools and social workers identify people in crisis and issue them with a food bank voucher. This means people can receive a food bank parcel of three days’ nutritionally balanced, non-perishable food from their local food bank.

Additional support

Our food bank network helps people break free from poverty by providing additional support to help people resolve the crises they’re facing so that they don’t need to use a food bank again in the future. This could include things like debt advice, mental health support, or benefits guidance . Food banks rely on the support of their local communities to support people in crisis.

Visiting a Foodbank

We work with local agencies in order to provide the most appropriate help.

Our foodbank works with a number of different agencies, such as Social work depts, City of Edinburgh Council, Advice shops, Housing Assocs, Citizens Advice, children’s centers, G.P’s, health visitors, local councilors, MSP’s and MPs’.

When you visit a referral agency they will take some basic details from you to complete the voucher. This will help them to identify the cause of your crisis and offer practical guidance. It also means we are able to prepare suitable emergency food for the right number of people.

How Our Foodbank Works

Food is donated

Schools, churches, businesses and individuals donate non-perishable, in-date food to a food bank. Large collections often take place as part of seasonal celebrations such as harvest and Christmas, and food is also collected at supermarkets.

Food is sorted & stored

Volunteers sort food to check that it’s in date and store it ready to be given to people who are referred to food banks in crisis. More than 40,000 people give up their time to volunteer at food banks across the UK.

Agencies identify people in need

Food banks partner with a wide range of care professionals such as doctors, teachers, health visitors and social workers to identify people in crisis and give them a food bank voucher to access emergency food.


People bring their voucher to a food bank centre where it can be redeemed for three days’ emergency food. Volunteers welcome people and offer them further support to help resolve the crisis they face.

Foodbank Vouchers


What is an agency?

Anything from your GP, Housing officier, social worker, any charity you work with can give you a voucher.

If you need more information you can contact us below.


What does the voucher give me?

Once you have been issued with a voucher, you can exchange this for a minimum of three days of emergency food at your nearest foodbank centre, along with toileteries, fresh food & store vouchers to buy essentials such as milk & bread.

What is in a Food Parcel?

The Trussell Trust has worked with nutritionists to ensure food parcels contains sufficient nutrition for at least three days worth of healthy, balanced meals for individuals and families.

Our foodbank can always adapt your food parcel to meet your individual needs, for example, if you are allergic to any food or lack certain cooking utilities. When you arrive at the foodbank centre, a volunteer will chat to you about any requirements you may have.

A typical Food Parcel includes

Breakfast cereals
Pasta sauce
Tinned beans
Tinned meat
Tinned vegetables
Tinned fruit
Tea or coffee

As well as

We often have a variety of fresh & various extra items that will be included alongside your food parcel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to some of our often asked questions below.
Which agencies can I get a voucher from?

Our foodbank works with a range of local agencies who meet people at risk of going hungry. Citizens Advice, children’s centres and health visitors are just some of those who can make refer people to our foodbank by issuing them with a foodbank voucher. If you think that your organisation could help people by referring them to our foodbank, please get in touch with us to discuss becoming a registered voucher holder.

Where is my nearest foodbank centre?

Please go to the locations page to find the address and opening times of each of our foodbank centres. Please note you must have a foodbank voucher to receive help from the foodbank. If you don’t have a voucher please contact us to find out how to get a voucher.

Will the food parcel cater for my whole family?

Our foodbank will adapt your food parcel according to the number of adults and children indicated on your voucher. They will also endeavour to provide foods that are age appropriate and in suitable quantities for your children. We can sometimes offer baby foods, but not SMA milk.

I have a baby, can you help with supplies of nappies and baby food?

Our foodbank usually carries a small stock of nappies and baby foods, which we can add to your parcel. Please let the foodbank know when you arrive if you need additional items for your baby. We will also signpost you to local provision of further support where possible.

What if I can’t get to the foodbank centre?
Unfortunately we are unable to deliver food parcels, so if you are unable to come to collect a food voucher this should be discussed with the referring agency, as someone can collect the emergency food parcel on your behalf.
I don't live in a EH6 or EH7 postcode - where can I go?

There are other Trussell Trust Foodbanks that can help you. visit their website below, or visit the Trussell Trust to find your nearest foodbank

Get in Touch with us


0131 553 5694

North East Edinburgh Foodbank

South Leith Parish Church Halls