Help with food
Access to healthy and nutritious food is vital for living well. As well as physical needs, food also meets social and emotional needs. It plays an important role in supporting mental wellbeing, learning and development and resilience.
Rising food, fuel and energy prices may have caused you to need help to afford food. Support is available to help you access food and eat well.
What is a food bank?
Food banks provide food parcels to anyone in need of emergency support and unable to afford food.
While their main goal is to make sure nobody goes hungry, many food banks can also connect you to finance, debt and benefit advice, as well as mental health and wellbeing support.
How to use a food bank
If you are at a point of crisis and can’t afford to eat or feed your family, please visit a food bank.
Get a food voucher
Vouchers can be exchanged for an emergency food parcel. Not all food banks require a voucher, but some will ask that you have one.
Local support services and organisations can provide you with a food voucher.
Where to get a food voucher
You can get a food voucher from:
- schools and children’s centres
- GPs and pharmacies
- Citizens Advice Bureau
- many voluntary, community and faith organisations
Call the Trussell Trust’s free helpline
The ‘Help through Hardship’ helpline can provide food vouchers and advice.
Call 0808 208 2138, Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
The helpline is closed on public holidays. Translations are available.
Find your nearest food bank and opening times
Help for pregnant women and families
There is help with food available for pregnant women and families.
Healthy Start vouchers
Women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or families with children under the age of 4 may be eligible for vouchers for food, milk and vitamins.
Find out more about Healthy Start vouchers
Free school meals
You can apply for your children to receive free school meals if you are receiving certain welfare benefits.
Check if your child is eligible for free school meals