The Food Store

Emergency Food Provision

Our Food Store is back! Open on Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-12pm (arrival by 11:30am) at our new centre (19 Lower Willow Street, Leicester, LE1 2HP). 

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

Families may also find additional support by contacting their local Supporting Tenants And Residents (STAR) team.

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 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: 10-12pm Tuesdays and Thursdays (arrive by 11:30am)

Address: The Open Hands Compassion Centre, 19 Lower Willow Street, Leicester, LE1 2HP (on the corner of Lower Willow Street and Wanlip Street).

Important Notice: 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.

Braunstone Collection Point: As an extension of our central food store we have partnered with a local community centre to offer an additional food collection point for guests living in the vicinity of Braunstone. 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. Braustone parcels can be collected by appointment only from The Oak Centre (Bendbow Rise, Braunstone, LE3 1QA) Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9.30am-2.30pm. To find out more email:, phone: 0116 3260269 or visit the website at: