This page highlights funds available, information on food banks, advice on accessing free school meals and healthy start vouchers, plus advice from Real Food Wythenshawe on how to cook up tasty healthier meals on a budget.
Household Support Fund
The Cambridgeshire Household Support Fund (external link) has been created to help people experiencing immediate financial hardship to pay for food and household energy bills. Help is available for pensioners and other people on eligible benefits who are struggling with food and energy costs.
Food hubs and foodbanks
If you are on a low income and have an unexpected crisis or an emergency that means you cannot afford food, we may be able to help by referring you to a foodbank. Some foodbanks require referrals, but other food hubs do not require a referral.
Ely Foodbank operates six centres in the East Cambridgeshire district, distributing emergency food parcels and other assistance.
Ely Foodbank distribution centres
- Chatteris, Thursday 10:00am to 11:00am, St Peter & St Paul's Church, Market Hill, PE16 6BA
- Cottenham, Wednesday 1:30pm to 2:30pm, Cottenham Baptist Church, 156-158 High Street, CB24 8XR
- Ely, Tuesday 11:00am to 12:30pm, Countess Free Church, Chapel Street, CB6 1AD (opposite the Lighthouse)
- Ely, Friday 1:00pm to 2:30pm, Countess Free Church, Chapel Street, CB6 1AD (opposite the Lighthouse)
- Haddenham, Monday 1:00pm to 2:00pm, Holy Trinity Church, Church Lane, CB6 3TB
- March, Tuesday 1:00pm to 2:30pm, Centenary Baptist Church, High Street, PE15 9LB
- Soham, Thursday 11:30am to 12:30pm, St Andrew's Church, Fountain Lane, CB7 5ED
- Waterbeach, Thursday 11:00am to 12:00pm, Baptist Church, Waterbeach, CB25 9HR
Help with pet food
Ely Foodbank may occasionally have pet food available for dogs and cats.
Wood Green animal shelter also offer support and advice if you are struggling with the cost of pet food, please contact on 0300 303 9333 between 8:00am and 4:00pm. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The RSPCA Pet Food Bank project collects food donations and delivers them to food banks for owners and animals in need.
The Littleport independent food bank, located at St George's Church, Church Lane, Littleport, is our local food bank for the RSPCA project. The food bank is open Tuesdays and Fridays between 10:30am to 12:00pm.
Free school meals
Could your child be eligible for free school meals? Find out more or apply for free school meals (external link). Families who are currently paying for school meals will save around £450 a year for each primary school child, if they are entitled to free school meals.
Secondary school children who are entitled to free school meals might also qualify for help with school transport costs. Get help with your child’s school costs (external link) for more information.
Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF)
If your child is eligible for free school meals you can also access free childcare with a healthy meal over the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays, subject to availability. Find out more on Cambridgeshire County Council Holiday Activities and Food Programme webpage (external link)
Healthy Start food vouchers
Healthy Start (external link) provide regular vouchers to help buy fruit, vegetables and milk if you are on a low income, pregnant or have a child under four.
Cooking on a budget
Real Food Wythenshawe supports people who want to develop the skills and desire to cook inexpensive healthier meals from scratch (external link). They also offer other money saving tips.