Foodbank App: national rollout begins!

Last year we developed a prototype smartphone app for the Sheffield S6 Foodbank, run by our local Church. Foodbanks provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis in the UK and are run by volunteers and churches across the UK.

We saw the amazing work and positive impact of our local Foodbank and wanted to use our expertise to help them. The Sheffield S6 Foodbank app was launched in December 2012 and has been trialed, redesigned and upgraded. From today it is being made available to all Trussell Trust Foodbanks in the UK (of which there are nearly 350).

Our Foodbank app has several features designed to increase support and donations.

    • The app contains a shopping list so that all the app users can see which foodstuffs are in short supply, medium supply and plentiful supply (using a traffic light colours system).
    • The app allows each individual Foodbank to send instant notifications to their own supporters telling them about upcoming supermarket collections, urgent food shortages etc.
    • Each Foodbank can show details of their location, operation times and how to get in touch and volunteer.
    • The app is free to download for anyone from the Apple App store or Google Play store.
    • Once the app has been downloaded, the user will be asked to select their local Foodbank from a dropdown list, and will then receive notifcations and updates from their chosen Foodbank.

Although only one app will be available to download in the app stores, each individual Foodbank will have its own CMS through which it will be able to target its own local supporters through notifcations, updates and the shopping list. This means that Foodbanks can make updates as regularly as they need to and communicate instantly with their supporters.

The Sheffield S6 Foodbank app trial has been highly successful. Chris Hardy, Sheffield S6 Foodbank Co-ordinator says:

“We have seen more people collecting or shopping for the items we have specifically listed as in short supply for that week or month. We have found the app to be a brilliant resource to our Foodbank and would thoroughly recommend it to others looking for extra ways of engaging with Foodbank supporters in the local community.”

We are fully committed to the vision of the Foodbanks and are really excited about the national rollout of the app and its potential to increase support for local Foodbanks across the UK.

We have developed a Foodbank app website to provide more information about the app for local Foodbanks looking to have their own app: