Food banks in Manchester: what items do they need most and how you can donate

As Marcus Rashford backs a new campaign to tackle child hunger, we look at other ways you can help in Manchester -including what stuff food banks need most right now.
UHT milk and cereal are among the things in demand  Credit: ShutterstockUHT milk and cereal are among the things in demand  Credit: Shutterstock
UHT milk and cereal are among the things in demand Credit: Shutterstock

Manchester United star Marcus Rashford has this week been asking the public to write to their MP to take action, after figures showed child hunger increased during the pandemic.

The campaigning footballer is well-known for his work on the subject including with food redistribution charity Fareshare, and has been pictured helping out at food banks.

So aside from writing to MPs, what else can you do in Manchester to help people facing food poverty?

We spoke to Manchester Central Food Bank, which is seeded by the Trussell Trust and and has been going since 2013, to get an insight on what items they need most of all now and how you can donate them.

What items do Manchester food banks need right now?

Lauren Tunnicliffe, project manager at the food bank, says demand has remained steady for the food bank over the last 18 months and there is currently a particular demand for:

UHT milk


Tins of fruit

Tinned custard and rice pudding

Food bank  Credit: ShutterstockFood bank  Credit: Shutterstock
Food bank Credit: Shutterstock

Is there anything they don’t really need more of right now?

Lauren says all items donated will go to good use, however they can’t really take fresh food as they don’t have the right storage conditions for it - and they tend to have adequate supplies of pasta and tinned soup as those are the most commonly donated items already.

How can I donate?

The food bank, which is managed by five staff plus volunteers, accepts donations from Monday-Friday between 10am and 4pm.

It is based at Avila House, 335-337 Oxford Road in Manchester city centre.

Outside of those times, you can contact them on [email protected] or call 07719824964 if you need a donation to be collected.

Alternatively, use the drop-off points at Tesco Extra in, Hyde Road, Gorton or Sainsbury’s Local at 339-401 Oxford Road in the city centre at any time during normal shop opening hours.

And you can donate money by visiting their JustGiving page here.

What’s in a typical food parcel?

A typical food parcel includes: breakfast cereal, soup, rice or pasta, pasta sauce, baked beans, tinned meat and fish, tinned vegetables, UHT milk, tea or coffee, sugar, tinned dessert and biscuits. They can be adapted to dietary requirements.

A Trussell Trust food bank Credit: ShutterstockA Trussell Trust food bank Credit: Shutterstock
A Trussell Trust food bank Credit: Shutterstock

How can people access help from a food bank?

Call 0800 234 6123 to speak to Manchester City Council’s Community Response Hub for advice.

Support can also be sought from the free national helpline, Help through Hardship, on 0808 2082138 (open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).

Which other food banks are there in the city?

There are many organisations which help run local food banks, but the Trussell Trust alone has several in Manchester including at Hulme, Salford, Chorlton, Stretford, Burnage, Fallowfield and more.

You can search your postcode and area on the Trussell Trust tracker here