Food & Essential Supplies Fund 2020-21 - is now closed.

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The Fund is open from 14th December 2020 and will remain open on a rolling call basis.  We expect a high number of applications to the fund and therefore dependent on the availability of funding reserve the right to close the fund at very short notice.

The Department for Communities has made available additional funding support to local authorities to support the most vulnerable in our society to access food and other essential items through a range of immediate and medium term interventions to address the significant dual challenges of Christmas/New Year and Brexit, both of which will exacerbate food poverty and insecurity between now and the end of March 2021.

Christmas specific initiatives

This additional funding will enable councils to resource some Christmas specific activity for those citizens who face real financial challenges, highlighted by the economic impacts of COVID and underlined by the pressures that the Christmas season brings. This additional funding will enable councils to build on local Christmas campaigns and provide support such as:

·     Family/individual support packages, including food and seasonal items and other essentials

·     Cooked meal provision, perhaps in partnership with local restaurants/community food providers, reflecting private sector collaboration

·     Providing ‘meals on wheels’ Christmas lunches and companionship to older people living alone.

·     Support to safe spaces, offering somewhere safe to spend Christmas, and Christmas meals and activities.


Beyond Christmas to March 2021

In the New Year we expect the focus to shift to more strategic interventions whilst recognising that emergency support may still be required, especially if Brexit has a further negative impact. The activities foreseen here focus on delivering a more strategic response, by developing capacity and capability in the community food infrastructure; brokering partnerships with other support /service providers, linking access to food to other practical support streams. Some examples of projects that could be delivered are:

·     Food education schemes

·     Slow cooker Programmes

·     Community Fridge

·     Increasing community food providers infrastructure including additional storage and covering FareShare membership fees (45p per kilo),

Funded activities can span December 2020 to March 2021.

For more information about the COVID-19 Food & Essential Supplies Fund 2020-21 including how to apply for funding and access to detailed guidance notes go to  

For further information please contact:-   

Lisa Harris  Tel: 028 2076 2225 or email or

Catherine Farrimond Tel: 028 7776 0311 or email