According to recent government data, 14.6% of Reading are at risk of living with food insecurity which is the second highest figure in Berkshire.

Food insecurity being defined as not having access to sufficient food, or food of an adequate quality, to meet basic needs. It also refers to having a limited or uncertain availability of nutritional and safe food.

Data shows that 14.6% of Reading are at risk which equates to 25,496 people.

Compared to other areas in Berkshire, this figure is high as West Berkshire recorded at 2.8%. Bracknell, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham are at the bottom of the table with 0% of people at risk*.

Slough had the highest figure for Berkshire with 32.1% of residents at risk of food insecurity.


Where can you get support?

  • ReadiFood Food Bank - ReadiFood is a ministry of Faith Christian Group who operate on behalf of the Churches of Reading to provide services. ReadiFood is an independent food bank providing food parcels to those in need in Reading. ReadiFood is by referral only so you cannot order a parcel for yourself. You would need to approach someone at Reading Borough Council, Social Services, the Job Centre, doctor, school, or any professional body who can vouch for your need. You can apply to be a volunteer on the ReadiFood website.
  • New Beginnings Reading - This Reading-based homeless charity aims to prevent poverty and financial hardship in Reading. This includes providing clothing, food, essential items, temporary accommodation, sign-posting to other support services and assistance with independent living. The charity has transformed the Queens Arms pub in Great Knollys Street, which is now used for a number of services, including the community fridge for distributing free food for those who need it and the All Day Café, a place that everyone is welcome for a cup of tea and a chat.
  • Give Food - Give Food became a registered charity in 2020 and have supplied more than 800 UK food banks around 114.5 tonnes of food and supplies.
  • The Trussell Trust - The Trussell Trust assist more than 1,200 across the country. The charity supports the food banks to provide a minimum of three days’ nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people who have been referred in crisis, for example by advice agencies, GPs, social services and schools. The closest Trussell Trust food bank to Reading is in Winnersh.

* Source: Calculations performed by Office for Health Improvement
& Disparities (OHID) Population Health Analysis team.