Get Help

How to get help

If you need help from our foodbank there are two simple steps to follow.

Southend Foodbank uses a referral system. This means you need a voucher each time you visit us.

Getting a voucher means you have already talked to someone about your situation before you visit us. Your voucher will include some basic information about how many people are in your household and the ages of any children, which helps us to prepare the food we give you to take home. If you need to make a call to get a voucher, you can choose when and where to call from, and then decide which of our sessions to visit, and this doesn’t have to be on the same day. Your voucher doesn’t expire, but you do need to get a new one each time you come back to the foodbank.

This short video explains how you can get help from Southend Foodbank:


1. Get a voucher

There are over 150 referral agencies across Southend and Rochford who can provide a foodbank voucher. Schools, health care and support groups can offer them to people who they know are struggling as part of the support or service they provide. If you don’t already have contact with an organisation that offers vouchers, you can refer yourself. The five busiest referral agencies that you can contact directly are:

Citizens Advice: you usually have to see them in-person so they can talk through your situation and discuss the full range of support available to you, as well as getting a foodbank voucher. Contact your nearest branch.
Southend: 0344 4770808 or 01702 969696  or drop in between 10am-3pm Monday-Friday at 1 Church Road, Southend SS1 2AL.
Rochford: 0808 278 7877 or drop in at Rayleigh, 10am-12pm Monday and Thursday Civic Suite Hockley Road, Rayleigh SS6 8EB; or on Tuesday 10am-1pm in Rochford Back Lane, SS4 1AY.

SAVS can issue e-vouchers, or voucher codes, over the phone. SAVS is not open at the weekend and closes for bank holidays. Call 01702 356000.

South Essex Community Hub (SECH) can help you with a foodbank voucher. Call 01702 611199.
The Hub also offers free access to computers and support from volunteers if you are struggling to access help online, Monday-Friday 10 am – 12pm and 1pm – 4 pm, 1st Floor Victoria Shopping Centre, 324-325 Chartwell Square, Southend SS2 5SP.

Early Help Family Support, Southend. Call 01702 215783.

Welcome to the UK can help you with a foodbank voucher. Call 01702 808579.  This charity offers a kind welcome, information, practical support, language help and English classes, family sessions and community activities for people who are new to the UK. They can also help explain how to get and use the voucher. Visit 9am-3pm, Monday-Friday during term-time 1st Floor Victoria Shopping Centre, 362 Chartwell Square, Victoria Plaza, Southend SS2 5SP


If you are a carer, you can get a range of support including a foodbank voucher from Southend Carers. They can also provide further support and information across a range of inclusive services to help reduce disadvantage and isolation, and support your wellbeing.  Call 01702 393933 or pop-in 10am-3pm, Monday-Friday, SAVS Centre, 29/31 Alexandra Street, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS1 1BW.

SEND the Right Message Charity (STRM) is a ‘by parents and for parents’ charity whose aim is to support families with children and young people who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) in Southend, Castle Point & Rochford. They can arrange a foodbank voucher for you as part of the help they offer, which also includes disability benefits appointments, and support sessions and activities. Contact via [email protected] or 07359 068827.


2. Bring your foodbank voucher to one of our sessions.

You can find a list of our local centres and opening times here.

Bring your voucher or voucher code to any of our foodbank sessions. One of our volunteers will greet you when you arrive. We’ll talk to you about what you need and explain if there are any extra items available as well as the food we give you. The food parcel we pack for you includes food to make three meals a day for three days you can make at home, as well as hot drinks and snacks. Sometimes we are able to offer toiletries, pet food, baby basics and some fresh food items, but this varies between sessions. Everything is free and you are never asked to make a donation or contribute to the cost of anything you take home.

While you’re in the foodbank you’ll be offered somewhere to sit, usually you’ll be offered a hot drink while you wait and you can talk to our team in the foodbank if you want to. There will also be information about other help you could use.

We pack your food into carrier bags so that it is easier for you to carry home and it looks just like regular shopping. You are welcome to bring your own bags, especially if you find it easier to carry or move food in a rucksack or shopping trolley on wheels. Just let us know when you come in. Don’t worry if you don’t have any bags, we have plenty donated that we can give you.

If you have any further questions our FAQ’s page may help, or feel free to email [email protected].


Further help

We understand that a food parcel is only one kind of help and won’t solve all the challenges you could be facing. There is other help available for a wide range of issues, through our Signposting page.

In four of our foodbank sessions, a Citizens Advice advisor can be available to offer information too, at Belle Vue (Tuesday); St Saviours, Westcliff (Wednesday); Shoeburyness (Thursday); and Earls Hall (Friday). Advisors are not available on bank holidays.

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