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Emergency Information - Foodbanks

You might find yourself caught short of money and need help with essentials like food or paying your bills. Please look at the range of support options we discuss in this guide.

Foodbanks

Foodbanks, largely run by volunteers, provide emergency boxes of food (usually a supply for a minimum of three days) and offer support for people in a crisis. The food is donated by members of the local community. Many also give personal hygiene items such as toilet paper and soap.

Some foodbanks offer hot meals and advice sessions. They may also be able to refer you to other local agencies for further help, depending on your situation.

To find your local foodbank, use the Trussell Trust website, which also has information on how foodbanks work.

Other places where free or low cost food may be available

You can ask your local council, local charities or Citizens Advice about other local sources of free or low cost meals. These might include:

  • Soup kitchens

  • Places to go for free or low cost breakfasts or hot meals. For example, as part of their religion's teachings, Sikh temples (known as gurdawaras) provide langar (free vegetarian food) every day that everyone who visits them is welcome to enjoy, regardless of their faith, gender, age or status. People sit on the floor together to eat the food which is cooked and served by Sikh volunteers.

  • Emergency breakfast schemes for children

  • FoodCycle schemes: A charity that runs projects in England using surplus food that might otherwise go to waste to feed people who struggle to afford the basics to eat.

You can find your local council's details on the Gov.UK website.

You can use our Find an Adviser tool to find your closest Citizens Advice or other local organisations that may be able to help you.


Last updated: December 2018

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