Support with Food


If you are struggling to feed yourself or your family there are organisations that can help. They are used by hundreds of people every week in Cumbria from all walks of life. Many food projects make use of surplus food that would otherwise go to waste, distributing it locally or turning it into hot meals. Foodbanks can provide emergency food parcels in a crisis. Details of your nearest foodbank in Cumbria can be found here.

There are also details of how to find support with your food and other useful information about the availability of Warm Spots during winter 2023, visit Electricity North West’s website: Help for your household (

You can also find out more information and join Electricity North West’s free Extra Care Register  – a dedicated service for households looking for a little extra help and support during a power cut. View the Extra Care Register Leaflet here.

There are also foodbanks available in other areas as follows;

The Olive Branch – Lancaster

The Trussell Trust in the Morecombe Bay Area

The Noor Foodbank Preston

The Blackpool Foodbank

The Preston Community Hub

The Bradford Foodbanks

The Skipton Foodbank


Other food providers

Contact Details for other affordable Food Outlets and Foodbanks in South Lakeland can be found here.

Free School Meals & Clothing Vouchers

If you are on a low income, your children may be entitled to free school meals and clothing grants. For Cumbria You can check your eligibility here

In other areas check entitlement for Free School Meals here and for help with school uniforms here

Cumbria’s Holiday Activity and Food programme

Details of  an exciting programme of fun activities for the Winter holidays can be found here.


Healthy Start Scheme

You might be able to get a Healthy Start card to help you buy certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit and vegetables.

To get the Healthy Start card you must be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4 years old. You must also be getting either:

  • Universal Credit – but only if your household earns £408 a month or less
  • Income Support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance – but only if you’re pregnant
  • Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit – but only if your household earns £16,190 a year or less.

As well as help with the cost of food and milk as part of the Healthy Start scheme, eligible families in Cumbria can also apply for free vitamins.  Details can be found here