A food bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that distributes food to those who have difficulty purchasing enough food to avoid hunger. It is not a Soup Kitchen, which usually provides cooked food to anyone who asks. Most food banks are unable to help people who come in off the street without a referral. A referral system means vouchers are handed out to those in need by various sorts of front line care professionals, such as social workers, health visitors, Citizens Advice, Jobcentres and housing officials. Sometimes, you may be be able to buy or trade them. The voucher can typically be exchanged at the food bank for a package of food sufficient to last three days.
As a nomad, utilizing a food bank brings forth many ethical questions, since they are largely geared towards the homeless, the (working) poor, the marginalized and the displaced. As a nomad, you must ask yourself, is it right to use this resource. There is is no right or wrong, and the decision is yours. You should not reply on food banks or become dependent on them. Use in acute situations. A Soup Kitchen, may be a better option
- The Trussell Trust partners with churches and communities, and has 400 foodbanks currently launched. Nearly every large town has one.
- The Salvation Army is a Christian based group, which usually has a location in most large towns that offers dinner.
- Singapore Buddhist Lodge offers free vegetarian food.