Manchester Central Foodbank (MCFB) is a Trussell Trust-affiliated food bank, with a centre in Central, North, and East Manchester. We were established in Ardwick in 2013 by students at the Manchester Universities’ Catholic Chaplaincy, making us the first student-led foodbank in the country. Since then we have grown significantly, expanding into Harpurhey and Openshaw, but our goal to end the need for food banks in Manchester has never changed.
We are one of 6 Trussell Trust-affiliated food banks in Manchester, and one of 19 in Greater Manchester. We work closely with our colleagues across the city, to develop and work towards a strong network of support for people locked in poverty. We know that the problem of poverty cannot be solved by giving out food alone, so we work hard to give wrap-around support to our clients, and to campaign for real change in our community.
Through a network of local referral partners we provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to us in hardship; last year we gave out 4014 emergency food parcels (to April 2023) and regularly provide food for over 1000 people each month.
As the need for food banks has grown, Manchester Central Foodbank has committed to addressing the causes of food poverty, while continuing to deliver emergency food parcels. In addition to helping people by providing emergency food, it is our aim to help people out of poverty. We do this by signposting to other support agencies, by providing free access to the internet for job searches and online applications, and by making free use of our telephone to contact agencies and employers. Manchester Central Foodbank is involved in several projects, with various funding sources. This includes the Trussell Trust’s national Pathfinder programme, with foodbanks involved developing and delivering their own plan for reducing the need for their services locally.