The Food Store

Current Emergency Service

The Food Store offers the opportunity for those facing hardship to access an emergency supply of food on receipt of a food store voucher referral.

Who do we help?

Individuals with restricted financial means to access food & no other support can be referred to us for help.

Please note that the Leicester City Council is currently offering advice and support, including help to access food and essential supplies, to city residents who are vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic – click here for more information.

Families may also find additional support by contacting their local Supporting Tenants And Residents (STAR) team or children’s school/s.

What can we offer?

We provide pre-packed emergency food hampers for individuals going without. Generally, this works out at one bag of food per adult and one bag of food for every two children. The majority of items we give are store cupboard items. As far as donations allow, we aim to provide every person/household with essential items such as: UHT milk, tea, cereal, pasta, soup, baked beans, tinned vegetables and tinned fruit.

How does our referral process work?

We work with hundreds of agencies and organisations across the city to make sure we help those most in need of our services. Anyone working with an individual on a professional basis (not a family member or friend) can refer someone to us if they know they need help – this could be a support worker, social worker, housing officer, doctor, child’s school teacher, charity or representative from another professional body.

Once a genuine need has been identified a referee can contact us to request a copy of our Food Store Voucher Referral by emailing admin@openhandsleicester.org.uk or phoning 0116 2558672. The referral they receive should then be completed in full by the referee and then either given to the individual in need to bring to the centre (during our food store opening hours) or sent to us by email. A referral voucher entitles an individual to one food parcel. A referral is required for every food parcel requested on behalf of an individual in emergency need.

What happens once a referral has been made?

Once we have received a referral voucher, the referee can provide the details below to the individual in need of help so that they can pick up their food parcel from our centre.

Opening hours: 10-11am Tuesdays and Thursdays

Address: The Open Hands Compassion Centre, 23-25 Highfield Street (on the corner of Highfield Street and Upper Tichborne Street), LE2 1AB.  Please note that we will be asking all individuals referred to us to follow social distancing measures when they arrive.

We ask that individuals only attend the centre if no one in their household has symptoms of coronavirus. If an individual (or household) is self-isolating, is not eligible for other support and has nobody else who could pick up their food for them a delivery can be requested by a referee and we will do our best to help where possible.

Usual Service

Coronavirus Response: Temporarily closed until further notice.

The Store is set up like a shop in which guests will hand in their completed food store voucher and will then ‘shop’ around for what they need for free. Guests will be able to pick from a variety of non-perishable items such as tea bags, coffee, UHT milk, sugar, cereal, pasta, rice, soup, baked beans, tinned meat/fish and tinned vegetables/fruit. A household will be eligible for up to 5 visits to the food store within a 12 month period and will need to present a new food store voucher referral and form of identification on every visit.

As an extension of our central food store we have partnered with two community groups to offer additional food collection points for guests living in the vicinity of Braunstone and the City Centre. Parcels can be collected as an alternative to travelling to our Food Store and can be redeemed by referral of an Open Hands Food Store Voucher.Temporarily closed until further notice. Usual Service: Braustone parcels can be collected by appointment only from The Oak Centre (Bendbow Rise, Braunstone, LE3 1QA) Mon-Fri 9.30am-2.30pm. To find out more email: admin@oakcentre.org.uk, phone: 0116 3260269 or visit the website at: www.oakcentre.org.uk.

Temporarily closed until further notice. Usual Service: City centre parcels are available by drop-in from the Leicester Jesus Centre (64A Mansfield Street, Leicester, LE1 3DL) on Thursdays from 12-2.30pm. To find out more email: leicesterjesuscentre@gmail.com or visit the website at: www.leicesterjesuscentre.org.uk/get-involved/food-store/.