Jane Calcott from the Kettering Foodbank
A foodbank volunteer was given a parking ticket as he unloaded donations for families in need - leaving the charity facing the prospect of having to dig into its coffers to pay the fine.
Traffic wardens issued the ticket to the Kettering Foodbank van while it was parked outside the depot in Market Street in the Northamptonshire town on Thursday.
The charity said the driver was unloading heavy crates of fruit and vegetables and had to shut the van doors between deliveries because he was worried about theft.
West Northamptonshire Council said the ticket was issued to the vehicle, which has the foodbank's logo on the side, as there was no clear evidence it was unloading.
The charity said that since posting about the incident on Facebook, it had received offers from people and businesses offering to pay the fine.
The driver had pulled up around 20 yards from the foodbank's premises as he had been able to park in the courtyard as usual. He left a note in the window reading "Please ask if I need to move van! Thanks" - but returned to find the ticket on the front window.
The charity's trustee, Jane Calcott, said: "We were really cross because we were genuinely just doing what we do every day of the week.
"We are well known in the community and I think people appreciate what we are trying to do, so we find it quite upsetting that anyone would do this to us when we were genuinely just doing our everyday job," she added.
Ms Calcott said the traffic warden should have read the notice in the van window and come in or knocked and asked what the van driver was doing.
"That's what happened in the past and we don't understand why it didn't happen this time," she said.
The council added that the foodbank would be able to appeal the fine in the usual way if it felt the charge was unfair.