Emergency Information - Don't have enough to eat

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.

Last reviewed 24 August 2023

Don't have enough to eat

Food Banks

If you are struggling to afford enough food to eat, you may be able to get help from a food bank.

Each food bank will be different in the services it provides and how you access them. However, you will usually get a voucher from a local referral partner (often Citizens Advice, health and social care professionals and/or local charities). Check what you need with the food bank you want to use.

Many food banks may also be able to provide 'extras' such as toilet paper, toiletries, period products, baby basics or pet food. If there is something essential you need, ask your local food bank if they can help.

They may also be able to provide additional support by referring you to local services that may be able to help.

To find your local food bank, see the following websites:

Pet food

Turn2us users often ask us about sources of help for emergency pet food. Some food banks may be able to help with emergency pet food. If you have a foodbank voucher and need pet food as well, talk to the food bank staff and see if they can help.

Some people have set up pet food banks in their local areas. You could do an Internet search to see if there is anything where you live or ask your local Citizens Advice, similar advisory service or animal charity, such as RSPCA, Blue Cross or Cats Protection, if they know of any local sources of help. You can use our Find an Adviser to find local advisers.

Some charitable funds listed on our Grants Search may also be able to help, if you meet their eligibility criteria for help, depending on your background, circumstances and needs, as well as what purposes they give grants for.

Not able to shop

If you are unable to get food because you are not able to get to the shop, for instance because you are ill or disabled, you might need to be assessed to see what care support you need. Contact your council for a needs assessment.

Free school meals

Schools must provide some pupils with a free midday meal during term times. For more information who is eligible, see Free School Meals.

Cooking on a budget

The Cooking on a Bootstrap website contains budget recipes by food campaigner Jack Monroe that you may find helpful.

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