If you are finding you can't afford food there is a range of support available through local authority and community services.
The two sections at the end of this page give details of food banks and related groups and services in Lewes district and Eastbourne.
If you are looking for looking for low-cost and healthy recipes, the BBC website has lots of ideas for individuals, families and different diets: www.bbc.co.uk - low-cost recipes
If you are struggling to afford food local agencies can issue you with a food voucher to use at some food banks. The same local agencies can work with you to provide support to help address some of the issues behind the reasons for your crisis.
Once you have been issued with a voucher, you can exchange this for a minimum of three days of emergency food at your nearest food bank.
If you are struggling to afford food, food banks could help. You will usually need a food bank voucher referral to use one.
Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) who will able to speak to you about your financial circumstances and can refer you to a food bank.
If for any reason you can’t be supported by your local CAB, then Community hubs, voluntary and community sector organisations and local authorities can also refer people to food banks.
Free school meals
Your child may be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following:
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
- Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
- Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.
Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:
- younger than the compulsory age for starting school
- in full-time education
To find out more about free school meals in East Sussex visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk - free school meals
Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme (DESSS)
The Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme (DESSS) provides emergency help in certain situations. It does not provide cash or loans but may provide the food or utilities that you need. Your household will usually only be able to receive support from the scheme once in 12 months.
For more information and to apply visit www.eastsussex.gov.uk - Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme
Fareshare Sussex redistributes food industry surplus which would otherwise be wasted, to the people that need it most.
They provide food to charities and groups that deliver services in addition to meals, such as advice and guidance, health support, counselling and befriending, to help break the cycle of poverty and use food as a vehicle for good above and beyond alleviating hunger.
For more information visit their website www.faresharesussex.org.uk