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    If you're struggling to afford food for you and your family, help is available.

    This page has lots of information on where you can get support with food costs. If you don't have any food and can't afford to get any more, please contact us straight away.

    We're always here to listen if you need support. Please contact us, we can help.

    • Food banks

      Food banks are community organisations that can help if you can’t afford the food you need. You'll need a referral, but some food banks offer emergency bag of food before your referral takes place.

      We work closely with local food banks and can refer you if you contact us. If you don't want to speak to us, Citizens Advice or your local council also might be able to tell you how to get a referral to a food bank. 

      You can find your nearest food bank on the Kent County Council website. All food banks work differently, and some can deliver to you if you live remotely. 


    • Kent Support and Assistance Service

      The Kent Support and Assistance Service (KSAS) may be able to provide supermarket vouchers for up to seven days if you are having serious difficulties managing your income due to a crisis or an emergency.

      Help is for a short time and only if you have no other means of support. Help can be offered three times over a rolling 12-month period but will not be provided for the same reason more than once. 

      For more information, call 0300 333 5700, Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm or visit the KSAS website.

    • Free school meals

      If your child is in year two or below they can get free school meals. If you receive certain benefits, your child's school can also get some additional money to support their learning if you register. 

      If your child is under 19 and in full-time education, you might be able to get free school meals if you get any of the following benefits:

      • 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)
      • Income Support
      • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
      • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
      • Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
      • 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 four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit.

      For more information speak to your child's school or apply online.

    • Healthy Start

      You might be able to get free vitamins and vouchers for milk, fruit and vegetables and infant formula milk. 

      To get the free vitamins and food vouchers from Healthy Start, you must be either at least ten weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old. You must also be claiming either:

      • Income Support
      • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
      • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (only if you're pregnant)
      • Child Tax Credit (if your household earns £16,190 a year or less)
      • Pension Credit
      • Universal Credit (if your household earns £408 a month or less).

      If you’re under 18 and pregnant, you can still get vitamins and food vouchers even if you don’t get any of these benefits.

      Ask your midwife or health visitor for an application form, or call the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823 and ask them to send you a form.