People find hope and support at Sunderland 'drop-by' food bank

published on 1 Apr 2020

Southwick Community Project in Sunderland has started a 'knock and drop' service so that businesses can donate items to its emergency food supply and vulnerable members of the community can pick up much-needed food parcels and see a friendly face during difficult times.

Manager Graham Wharton said: "We’re encouraging people who are donating to the food bank to knock on our office window and drop the food at the door - ‘Knock and drop’ - and those who are referred to us for food pick-ups can knock on our office window and collect their parcel in a safe place so they can ‘Knock and go’, eliminating contact but still ensuring those who are struggling have what they need, including encouragement and seeing a friendly face.

“We’re keeping in mind those who attend our Cameo (Come and Meet Each Other) club and older people’s groups could be isolated so we are working on a befriending service to call people regularly and check they have all they need.

“All through this, the welfare of our own staff and volunteers is at the forefront of our mind and we will be putting government advice into practice to maintain their wellbeing.”

So far the team has been supported by a range of businesses donating items that have been shared across The Salvation Army’s church projects, homelessness centre and other agencies in the city who are supporting those who are most vulnerable. Graham said: “People have been very generous and we’ve also received help with funding. However, there has been some difficulty is being able to use funds to purchase items to restock the food bank, but we are continuing to work with our local businesses and agencies to work together to ensure those who are most vulnerable continue to receive the support they need.”

Rough sleeping

The most visible, extreme and damaging form of homelessness.


Find out how you can contribute to your local community by volunteering with us.


Help us be there to support the most vulnerable members of society.

Supporting emergency services

Providing support to the emergency services and helping those affected.