Community Food Spaces

Affordable Food Clubs
These include pantries, larders and social supermarkets, offering food at a reduced rate (for example £3.50 for food items worth £15 – £20). Many have membership rules, which can cover anything from the amount you pay for your shop to the area they cover.

Many affordable food clubs offer support or signposting to support and some offer meals, run holiday clubs or run community growing projects.

Food Banks
Food Banks are there to help when you cannot afford to buy food. You need a referral to use most food banks, including those run by Trussell Trust. Referrers include Citizens Advice, Doctors and Social Workers, you can get a list of referrers from your local food bank. Some independent food banks will allow you to self-refer.

Most food banks will give you a parcel of food that will last for around three days and may be able to provide toiletries. Some food banks are able to help with a limited amount of fresh food or vouchers for local shops. Food bank support is meant to be short term support.

Surplus Food Projects – Community Hubs and Community Fridges
These projects provide surplus food from supermarkets and other shops, this is often near it’s end date and needs to be used quickly, but it ensures good food doesn’t go into landfill. These projects help prevent food waste and provide food for people who need it or can use it.

These projects usually offer food for free, but many appreciate donations of food or money as this helps them to continue supporting people in need.

Community Canteens
Community Canteens provide cooked meals for their communities, enabling people to come together and sit down for a meal. Some canteens provide for whole communities whereas others support a particular client group, such as the homeless.

Some canteens offer food for free, whilst others subsidise the cost of the food or will ask you to Pay as You Can, meaning customers can pay what they can afford, but are welcome to have food if they are unable to pay

Community Cafes
Community Cafes operate in the same way as other cafes, but often subsidise the cost of the food for members of the community they serve or ask customers to ‘Pay As You Can’, meaning customers can pay what they can afford, but are welcome to have food if they are unable to pay.

Setting up a Food Project in your area

If you are have identified a need in your community and are considering setting up a food project Feeding Britain have set up an online library full of resources to help you – This site contains resources for all types of food projects including affordable food clubs, cooking classes, community meals, community fridges, emergency food providers and food redistributors. Click here to access the library