Family help over summer
If you are a Southwark resident and need help with accessing food over the summer holidays, there are a range of services that can help.
Below you will find resources for help with food and support.
The Community Hub is a first point of call if your family is in any kind of crisis. The Hub can help with emergency foodbank referrals. Call 020 7525 5000 and choose option 3 (lines are open 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri, with out of hours support).
- Southwark Emergency Support Scheme (SESS) and Hardship Fund. SESS can help you if you're a Southwark resident who is facing a crisis, emergency or disaster and needs help. The scheme will provide food vouchers, or help with your bills, rather than cash support. If you're struggling to afford your household bills and food, Southwark Hardship Fund provides help for people in debt with household bills, such as gas, electricity and water, rent and Council Tax arrears. This help could mean you have more money left to buy food.
- The Summer of Food and Fun is running summer holiday programmes at over 30 centres in the borough for children up to age 16, including those with special educational needs. The programmes including free food, activities and “take and make” boxes for family cooking at home. www.southwark.gov.uk/foodandfun
- The Southwark Food Action Alliance (SFAA) website. SFAA is a collection of over 90 local organisations who all help with food – whether it’s foodbanks, tips on getting cheaper food, cookery skills and recipes and where to go for wider support. The site also includes: A map to find your nearest growing projects. A map to find local food help As venues and projects can change frequently, do call or email before visiting.
- Use vouchers to help put more healthy food on the table for your family for free. Families and pregnant women in Southwark can benefit from two different kinds of vouchers. Used together they are worth over £8 per week per child. The Healthy Start vouchers are for low-income pregnant women and families with children age 0-4. Co-op, Iceland and Sainsburys are all topping up the voucher until the end of August by giving at least £1 of extra help for each voucher used. Full details of how these three chains will stretch the value of your voucher are here. Healthy Start vouchers can also be used at the Peckham Pantry – a low-cost supermarket where families will receive more for their vouchers than they would at a regular store, as well as at certain stalls in East Street market.
- Rose Vouchers are for low-income pregnant women and families in the SE1, SE5, SE15 and SE17 areas. Children qualify from birth until they start at reception. Older siblings at primary school also qualify for the vouchers, as long as they have a younger sibling receiving the vouchers.
- More affordable shopping at The Pantry. The Pantry is an affordable supermarket for those on low incomes. Members pay £4.50 each time they shop and in return receive around £15 of groceries.
- Help the environment by using surplus food (Community Fridges and Olio)Community Fridges are centres where food businesses and neighbours leave good food that they would otherwise throw out. Anyone can bring food to a fridge, anyone can take food away. No questions asked. Making use out of food that would otherwise end up in landfill is also a great way to help the planet! There are nearby fridges in Camberwell, Walworth, Borough, Brixton and Waterloo. Use this map for more information. Sharing app Olio is a place where neighbours and food businesses can list good food within date that they do not want. You make a private arrangement to collect the food.