Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Frequently Asked Questions

How to get help and give help during the Covid-19 crisis

This page is being updated continuously. Latest update – 25/3/20 12.03pm

As we are very small team so please look for the answer to your question here before emailing or calling us.

Getting Help

Is Hackney Foodbank still open?

Hackney Foodbank is open.

We are still supporting people with emergency food at Hackney Foodbank and will do for as long as is possible.

Have there been changes to your services?


Whilst services will continue at our established centres for the time being, to minimise risk to our volunteers clients, we have temporarily changed to an “at-the-door” service.

To help make this new approach run as smoothly as possible, we ask clients to:

– queue up outside of the premises instead of coming inside
– keep a distance of 2 metres between each other
– respect the numbering system
– leave promptly once the food parcels have been handed over

At present the parcels are pre-packed parcels and there will be no opportunity to request exchanges.

We thank you for your understanding and co-operation in difficult times.

Are you able to deliver food?

We are not able to deliver food as we are currently working on maintaining our core service.

If you needed, contact your local mutual aid group to see if a neighbour can help you.
Details on mutual aid groups and how to find your local group can be found here:
(Note: Hackney Foodbank cannot endorse any mutaul aid group.)

If you are sending someone else to the foodbank on your behalf, please email and we will send you details to ensure this process runs smoothly.

Giving Help

Do you need extra volunteers during the Corona virus?

We have received a wonderful number of applications from potential new volunteers and are pausing taking new applications until we have processed those already submitted.


Do you need food donations?


We are reliant on food donations and recent stockpiling has drastically affected our ability to purchase large quantities of items from supermarkets when we are running very low.

A list of the food we most urgently need and locations around Hackney where they can be donated can be found here: Donate food

To minimise social contact, please include a note with your name and email with your donation.


 Are you still accepting donations?

Yes.  We are still accepting donations at the locations listed here: Donate food

To maintain social distancing, if possible only one person should make the donation and, if you are donating direct to our warehouse, please include your name and email on a note in the donation so that we do not have to complete paperwork whilst you are in the building.


Can you accept fresh/opened food donations?


We cannot accept opened food donations of any kind, whether it is food, nappies, toiletries or sanitary wear.

We don’t have the facilities to store and distribute fresh, chilled or frozen food. This includes fresh milk, eggs, fresh bread or pastries.  If the standard shelf life of a product at room temperature is less than three weeks, please do not donate the items. We will need to throw them away which would be a terrible waste.

Various homeless charities and community kitchens are staying open to help those who don’t have access to shelter or kitchen facilities. If you have surplus fresh stock, please try contacting one of them to see if they can use the food.

Do you accept sweet and savoury treats/non-essential items?


We do give out treats (sweets, crisps etc.) and non-essential food items (stock cubes, mustard, etc.) when they are donated to us. Our clients appreciate them as a nice addition to their nutritionally balanced food parcel.

But, if you are buying donations specifically for us, please focus on staple foods, particularly our most needed items listed here: Donate food