Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator


Food plays a central role in our lives. It keeps us alive, helps us stay healthy and brings us together socially. Food binds communities and its production and supply plays a key role in creating a vibrant local economy.

There may be times when you need help to afford or access food for yourself and your family; you may want advice about diet and nutrition or how to make the most of leftovers, as well as information about environmentally friendly food choices.

In the following pages we have information and advice for:

  • Help with accessing food
  • Food banks, community pantries and communal kitchens
  • More food, less waste – ideas, recipes, tips and apps
  • Healthy eating and keeping well

Healthy Start

If you are pregnant, or have a child under four, you may be eligible for a healthy start card to help buy food and milk. Once activated, the card is regularly topped up with money to enable you to buy certain types of milk, infant formula, fruit, vegetables and vitamins. You can apply online through the Healthy Start website.

Free school meals

Schools should provide meal options for all children attending school. Meals are available free of charge to:

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, they will automatically be entitled to universal infant free school meals. However, if you do meet the benefits-related free school meals eligibility criteria, then it is advised you apply to receive additional benefits:

  • Holiday activities and food (HAF) programme - is for children aged 4 to 16 in Reception to Year 11 who are in receipt of benefits-related FSM. HAF offers eligible pupils access to activities and at least one healthy meal is provided during each session. The activities take place during the Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays.
  • Pupil premium - is extra funding paid directly to schools for each pupil who is eligible for free school meals. It can help to fund valuable teaching and learning support to improve pupils’ education.

You can apply for benefits-related FSM at any time online through the Parent Portal.

Update cookies preferences