Cost of Living Support - food support

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 and from all walks of life.

There are food banks and other food projects located across the county, find your nearest at Ways to Welfare or call the county council's support line on 0800 783 1966.

If you are on a low income, your children may be entitled to free school meals and clothing grants. You can check your eligibility and apply online or call 01228 606060.

For milk, fruit and vegetables if you're on a low income and pregnant or have a child under 4. 

Apply online for Healthy Start vouchers.

Cumbria's Holiday Activity and Food Programme offers hundreds of activities (including a meal) for young people aged 5 to 16 during the school holidays. Activities are free for families whose children receive benefits-related free school meals, with additional free places also available for young people in particular circumstances.

Visit the holiday activity website to find activities on offer during the Easter holidays.

Eligible families in Cumbria can apply for free vitamins and help with the cost of food and milk as part of the Healthy Start scheme. 

The Healthy Start scheme has two elements to it: 

The first element is a prepaid card worth up to £8.50 per week to spend on fresh produce such as cow's milk, fresh, frozen, or tinned fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk and fresh, dried, and tinned pulses. 

The second element offers free vitamins to eligible pregnant women and mothers for up to six months after birth (if breastfeeding or dual feeding) as well as vitamins for children up until the age of four. The vitamins will initially be distributed by Midwives and Health Visitors during their early visits and then families will be able to collect them from one of many different Community Venues (PDF 484KB) in Cumbria using their Healthy Start pre-paid card. 

To apply for the healthy start prepaid card, visit the NHS website. You can find out more about the Healthy Start scheme on the Healthy Start website.