Referrals at the Whitehawk Foodbank

24th March 2021

Referrals at Whitehawk Foodbank


The team at the Whitehawk Foodbank are here always ready and happy to serve our community in East Brighton. We often get asked about why we require our clients to have a valid referral in order for them to access our emergency food parcels, so we wanted to explain a little bit about why referrals are so important to us.


As a foodbank connected with the Trussell Trust, we operate with a referral-based system. This means that we partner with agencies that work with people in the local community, and these agencies then refer clients to access foodbank support if needed.


There are various referral agencies that can refer clients to access our services including local GP surgeries, Council housing services, social services and financial inclusion services such as Money Advice Plus and Christians Against Poverty as well as many others.


At Whitehawk Foodbank, there are two types of referral agencies:

  1. Emergency referrers: These are organisations that don’t work closely with clients to alleviate their crises, but do have strong connections in the community and can connect people to us who are unsure about getting a referral or are not currently receiving any support. These referrals give clients up to 2 weeks of food parcel access and we will work with the client straight away to connect them with an agency that will directly address their specific need 
  2. Official Referrers: An official referral is one that comes from an agency that is working alongside clients to address their crisis and these referrers will specify the length of support from foodbank in the initial referral. 


This feels like a lot of rules and regulations! The referral process is really important to us, not because we want to police how people access the foodbank, but to make sure that clients are receiving support to help them out of any crisis that they are experiencing.


Over the coming months some of our different referral agency partners will be posting some blogs on this feed to give information about what they do, the support they provide, and how to contact them. We want this platform to be a useful resource for the community and that it will help you understand referral-based foodbanks, like ourselves better.

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