I need help finding food or essential home items

There are several council, government and community schemes that can help with the cost of food and household items.

Please remember, if you are unable to work as a result of testing positive for Coronavirus, or have been told to self-isolate by the NHS, you might be eligible for a one-off £500 payment.

Community Meals Service

Our partners at Apetito offer a home meal service which ensures that you or your loved ones receive delicious and nutritious meals, delivered every day by their friendly and knowledgeable drivers. The service is an ideal choice for those who, for one reason or another, aren’t able to cook for themselves, for instance if they’ve just come out of hospital. For your extra peace of mind, they will take the contact number of a friend or relative in case they have concerns about a customer’s wellbeing.

Find out more about the Community Meals Service.

Citizens Advice Richmond

RCABS provides specialist advice on a range of issues such as claiming benefits, employment issues, housing, immigration, debt, tax, advice for EU citizens etc. They offer hardship grants on behalf of other local funders and food vouchers.

COVID-19 Hardship Fund

This is a temporary fund, made available by us, to assist households with children who have been affected by the COVID-19 situation, have had their normal income disrupted and have had to claim Universal Credit. The fund can help households by providing support with groceries in the form of supermarket vouchers.

DEFRA emergency assistance grant

Richmond AID and Citizens Advice Richmond (CAR) may be able to help with a grant for food and essentials. This grant can support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19, subject to available funds up to 31 March 2021. The fund is for residents of Richmond who have reduced pay, lost their job, benefit issues, struggling to afford food or have extra costs as a result of COVID-19.

Find out more about Citizens Advice Richmond

  • Telephone: 0300 330 2114 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm)

Find out more from Richmond Aid

  • Telephone: 020 8831 6464 (Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm) 

Food for Thought Heathfield

Offering surplus food from local retailers at a pop-up market stall on Heathfield Recreation Ground. Open to anyone and you can donate if you are able. Speak to a member of the team if you require additional support with ready-made meals or toiletries/hygiene products. 

Open Thursday from 2.30 to 4.30pm and Saturday 11.30am to 1.30pm outside the Pavilion on Heathfield Recreation Ground, Powdermill Lane, TW2 6EG. 

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
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit

Find out more about free school meals

  • Call 020 8547 5448

Healthy Start vouchers

If you are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under four years old, AND you or your family already receive income support or Universal Credit you could be eligible for this Government scheme.

Local Assistance Scheme

For those residents in receipt of welfare benefits, there are crisis grants available to help in an emergency for household items, food and baby essentials.

No recourse to Public Funds Hardship Fund

We will make awards available from the Covid-19 Hardship Fund, which does not count as public funds, to Richmond residents whose income has been affected by Covid-19 and have no recourse to public funds. The fund can help households by providing support with groceries in the form of supermarket vouchers.

Richmond AID

Specialist benefits advice for people with disabilities. Providing a Food Hub, in partnership with other local organisations over the Covid-19 period. They can also provide food vouchers and grants for food or other essential items.

Richmond Food Bank

They have five food distribution points in and near the borough and can provide three days’ nutritionally balanced emergency food for people. This service is provided by the Trussell Trust, a nationwide network helping to combat poverty and food hunger across the UK. You need a food voucher to get provisions from the Food Bank.


Providing support for adults and children with disabilities. They are running a Food Hub in partnership with local voluntary sector organisations, a shopping service, and telephone befriending. They also provide information, advice and advocacy across all aspects affecting disabled people e.g. care and support at home, activities in the community and housing.

  • Find out more about RUILS
  • Call 020 8831 6083

The Barnes Fund

They can offer support with utility bills, such as gas, water or electricity / essential items / food vouchers. Must be in the Barnes Fund catchment area (SW13).

The Hampton Fund

Can help with fuel grants. You must also live in their area of benefit - Hampton, Hampton Hill, Hampton Wick, Teddington, Twickenham and Whitton.

The Real Junk Food Project

They turn surplus food from local retailers into delicious meals that they serve at their cafe, plus lots of surplus food to take away. Open to anyone. Pay as you feel.

Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11.30am to 1.30pm at the ETNA Community Centre, 13 Rosslyn Road, TW1 2AR, and Tuesday at The Greenwood Centre 11am to 1pm.

  • Find out more about The Real Junk Food Project
  • Call ETNA Community Centre on 020 8892 3676
  • Call The Greenwood Community Centre on 020 8979 9662

Updated: 10 February 2021