Advice for businesses, charities and local groups

Surplus food from businesses

If you are a food or drink business in Warwickshire who is having to close temporarily or change your businesses model you can support the most vulnerable residents in the county through the donation or provision of supplies to groups who are working with people and families during this crisis.

To donate supplies or offer support in some other way please contact the following organisations directly:

Helping Hands - supporting homeless people


They are also providing emergency household packs of food, cleaning and household items. Items urgently needed are:

  • Food for our soup kitchens and to make up food parcels to send out to families
  • Takeaway containers
  • Latex gloves
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Cleaning items
  • Bathroom products
  • Consumable baby items such as nappies, formula.
  • Essential items for the homeless like sleeping bags, socks, and underwear.

Any food which is in date and can be used to feed people or as ingredients please let them know by emailing

Trussell Trust foodbanks


Any surplus non-perishable food would be greatly appreciated. Please note that foodbanks are unable to accept perishable or ambient food items. The food they can put in the food parcels is as follows:

  • cereal
  • soup
  • pasta
  • rice
  • tinned tomatoes/ pasta sauce
  • lentils, beans and pulses
  • tinned meat
  • tinned vegetables
  • tea and coffee
  • tinned fruit
  • biscuits
  • UHT milk
  • long-life fruit juice
  • chocolate

For sources of business support for food and drink businesses, visit coronavirus - support for businesses and supplies.

Food safety

If you are, as a community collecting and distributing food then we would strongly recommend you discuss this with your local authority's environmental health officers as you may be classified as a 'food business'. 

The Food Standards Agency says that any business that handles food comes under the definition. However guidance on the application of EU food hygiene law to community and charity food provision (PDF) does acknowledge the ‘degree of organisation’ behind it. At all times good hygiene and storage practices should be observed.