Salvation Army launches ‘operation food parcel’

published on 14 Apr 2020

Foodbank supplies

Salvation Army launches ‘operation food parcel’

The Salvation Army has launched an urgent appeal to supermarkets, wholesalers, philanthropists and the corporate sector to help their biggest ever food donation drive. The church and charity is seeking bulk donations of non-perishable food to feed those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

While food banks across the UK received a very welcome boost from Morrisons’ recent pledge to provide £10 million in food, The Salvation Army is warning that this will not be enough to help the many thousands hit hardest by the impact of the pandemic and who are falling in between government support schemes.

At one of our busiest food banks in Preston referrals doubled in the week before the lockdown and schools closed. While in Reading The Salvation Army corps (church) has transformed their building into a local hub to accept donations of food to help those in need, such as the newly unemployed or the over 70s who are unable to go out due to social-distancing.

The Salvation Army’s leader in the UK and Ireland, Commissioner Anthony Cotterill said: “Based at the heart of many local communities, we are ideally placed to get food to those who need it most but until we can secure large supplies of food we simply cannot respond to everyone. This is an unbearable situation where more and more desperate people are reaching out to us as we are watching our stocks run low.

“I am so grateful to the pledges that the corporate sector and others have already made but so much more needs to be done to meet the rapidly growing need. Our foodbanks are braced for a double impact. Firstly, thousands are suddenly out of work and many will be visiting a food bank for the first time. Secondly, the lockdown while essential to protect lives is putting new pressures on families who will be making Universal Credit claims and waiting five weeks for a first payment in addition to delivery of the first of the Government’s new food vouchers if their children receive free school meals.

“To meet the growing need we are today asking for industrial quantities of dried foods, tins and other non-perishables.”

Under lockdown rules, the public should not be bringing donations to Salvation Army food banks and centres directly and so the church and charity is appealing to the corporate sector to step in. Bulk food supplies would be managed centrally and distributed via The Salvation Army’s nationwide network directly to their local communities. If the public wish to help they can donate money to The Salvation Army online so we can buy food for food banks and local food parcel delivery schemes.

The Salvation Army has transformed its response to ensure it is directly reaching those hit the hardest by the coronavirus. Our foodbanks are expanding and we are using our local networks to reach people who can no longer feed themselves or their families and are cut off from other sources of help.

Homeless day centres are now offering doorstep health advice and food parcels, while night time soup runs are delivering hot food at a safe distance from our emergency response vehicles. 

If you are a decision-maker in the supermarket or wholesale industry and are able to help please contact or if you or your company are in a position to give financial support to enable the church and charity to purchase supplies of food please contact

The food urgently needed is:

·        Pasta

·        Pasta sauces

·        Tinned fruit

·        Soup

·        Tinned meat/tuna

·        UHT milk


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