In this post, we’ve selected and featured 10 top food banks in Kent. Continue reading to learn about them and their activities to make food available to do those who need it the most.
For more than 150 years, The Salvation Army has been there to help. The branch in Maidstone continues this tradition. Their soup kitchen provides a place for the downtrodden to enjoy a hot meal and attend to some personal needs or they can take a parcel of food to go from the food bank. Two days a week, they provide a drop-in center where children can have a meal and play games. They also offer free cooking classes where people can learn to cook on a budget.
For over three decades, the Maidstone Day Centre in Maidstone has assisted those who lack the means to provide proper nutrition for themselves or their family without assistance. They offer emergency supplies of non-perishable items based on referrals from other agencies. The volunteers at the centre also work with their recipients to improve their overall situation to lift them out of food poverty on a long-term basis.
Like the other food banks that are a part of The Trussell Trust, the Gillingham Food Bank, founded by volunteers in 2012, provides an emergency three-day food supply for Gillingham residents with a food voucher from a referring agency. More food can be provided to those who are in dire circumstances. All of the items given are tinned, soft packaged, jarred or boxed non-perishables intended to supplement an existing food budget for fresh food but designed to stand alone if needed.
Since 2011, the Medway Food Bank in Rochester has been helping members of their community combat food insecurity. As a member of The Trussell Trust, they are committed to providing a minimum of three days’ worth of non-perishable food to all who request it with a food voucher from a referring source. The volunteers at the food bank will discuss the needs of each recipient when they perform their intake and do their best to meet their nutritional needs.
If you are looking for help with food poverty in Dartford, you can turn to the Dartford Food Bank. Founded in 2012 by local volunteers, the food bank offers a shop-style experience by allowing recipients to choose their items from their shelves with the assistance of a volunteer. Before shopping, a member of the charity will sit down with you over a cup of tea and discuss your needs and how they can best assist you.
Don’t choose between putting food on the table and other necessities. Visit the Family Food Bank for assistance. Since 2012, the volunteers who established this charity have been working to combat food poverty in Ashford and beyond since they first opened their doors. Each week, they provide bags of non-perishable food items to those who rely on them to keep food on the table. In line with other food banks in County Kent, they require a food voucher for distribution.
Founded in 2006, the Kent Community Food Bank in Ashford has a different approach to fighting food poverty. Rather than offering free food parcels, this organisation buys in bulk and accepts donations which they provide to the community for a small fee. The monthly membership entitles shoppers to choose items worth considerably more than what they pay the food bank but less than a third or more of the price they would pay at the regular shops.
John Finnegan and Darryn De La Soul were driven to start a food bank as Margate and the world entered the pandemic in 2020. The results are the Margate Independent Food Bank. This low-cost food bank allows members to pay a small fee in exchange for groceries worth substantially more at regular supermarkets. This type of food bank aims to offset the cost of food so that those who may not qualify for assistance otherwise can focus their funds on other priorities.
Gravesham Food Bank is an outreach program started by the Gravesend Methodist Church. They are open one day each week to provide food provisions to those in need of supplemental food assistance in Gravesend. Among the items distributed are tinned foods and dry goods, including powdered milk. Recipients can claim their packages with a food voucher from a referral agency or self-refer on a limited basis.
10. Catching Lives
Catching Lives caters to the homeless community in Canterbury and beyond. Their day centre is open seven days per week to those who have no place else to go. They offer lunch and breakfast, along with a variety of other amenities designed to promote good health and long-term improvement in their clients’ lives. Those who don’t care to dine-in can retrieve food in a to-go bag that they can take with them for later.