Cost of Living and Welfare Support


Nourishing Norfolk Food Hubs

There are now a number of Food Hubs located across Breckland. Please find your nearest Food Hub below:

  • The Burrell Supermarket, Charles Burrell Centre, Thetford, IP24 3LH
  • The Food Cabin, Wellspring Family Centre, 35 Neatherd Road, Dereham, NR19 2AE
  • The Pantry, next to Kenninghall Village Hall, School Close, Kenninghall, NR16 2EL
  • Watton Food Hub, Watton Community Centre, Harvey Street, Watton, IP25 6EB

Community Fridges 

Pick up surplus food and prevent food waste by visiting your nearest Community Fridge. There are four community fridges in Breckland, which anyone can access and the food is free of charge as it's nearing its sell-by date. So far Community Fridges have helped thousands connect to their communities, access nutritious food, save money and reduce waste.

Find your nearest Community Fridge.

Food Banks

Food banks in Breckland welcome and support everyone who is referred to them, always acting with respect and without judgment. Volunteers will give a minimum of three days' emergency food and offer support to resolve some of the difficulties you might be facing. 

In order to get help from a food bank you will need to be referred with a voucher. These can be obtained from Breckland Council, call 01362 656870 or complete aWelfare Referral Form (opens new window) for yourself, a family member or friend, or as a supporting professional. 

Breckland Food banks are located at the following locations:

  • Attleborough Lighthouse
  • Dereham Wellspring Church
  • Swaffham Baptist Church 
  • Thetford The Hub
  • Watton Christian Community Centre

Visit theTrussell Trust (opens new window) website for opening times. 

Food Deliveries

Many food shops and supermarkets can deliver food to your door when ordered on their website. Morrisons also offer a telephone shopping service where orders can be made over the phone. For further details please see theMorrisons website (opens new window)

If you have been unwell, you may be able to get help with your food shop from theBritish Red Cross Help at Home service (opens new window)


If you are struggling to find transport to the shops, the Norfolk County Council website contains information onhelp with transport (opens new window)

Check if you're eligible for Norfolk County Council'sTravel Norfolk Car Scheme (opens new window) which takes people for essential journeys (including food shopping).

The South Norfolk and Breckland Flexibus timetable can be found here:South Norfolk and Breckland Flexibus (opens new window)

Use this online tool to search forlocal transport options available for your address (opens new window)

For more information on vehicles with disabled access please visit our webpage:Wheelchair Accessible Taxis

Kitchen Equipment

If you are in financial hardship and cannot pay your living costs, the Client Hardship Service may be able to support with essential kitchen appliances, such as a fridge, freezer or cooker if you are eligible.

Details about how to apply can be found on the Client Hardship Service webpage (opens new window)

Support for Children and Families

Free School Meals 

Check if you are eligible for free school meals:Check to see if you are eligible for free school meals. (opens new window)

If you are eligible for free school meals, you will also receive a monthly 'cost of living' voucher.

The vouchers will be £15 per month, per child. There is an additional payment of £15 in July and August for the summer holidays.

The vouchers will be paid up to and including September 2024.

If you receive a means-tested benefit and are entitled for Free School Meals (Pupil Premium) you will automatically receive the vouchers from your child's school.

If you haven't received your voucher or have any other issues please send an email to providing your name, your child's name and the name of your child's school.

The vouchers are provided by Edenred and can be used for food and groceries.

For more information visit:Norfolk County Council - Cost of Living Vouchers (opens new window)

Holiday Activity and Food Programme 

The Big Norfolk Holiday Fun is a Norfolk County Council scheme, delivered alongside our partners Active Norfolk, to help your child move lots, eat well and have fun.

It is a government funded programme to provide school aged children eligible for free school meals with access to free healthy meals and activities in the school holidays. 

The scheme provides holiday activities for children and young people aged 5-16 years old in Norfolk. If your child is 4 years old but they are in school, they can take part.

Children not in receipt of free school meals can also attend but a fee is applicable. 

Find out more and book places. (opens new window)  

Healthy Start Scheme 

If you're more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, you may be entitled to get help to buy healthy food and milk.

If you're eligible, you'll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use in some UK shops. 

You can use your card to buy:

  • Plain liquid cow's milk
  • Fresh, frozen, and tinned fruit and vegetables
  • Fresh, dried, and tinned pulses
  • Infant formula milk based on cow's milk

You can also use your card to collect:

  • Healthy Start vitamins - these support you during pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Vitamin drops for babies and young children - these are suitable from birth to 4 years old

Find out more about the Healthy Start Scheme. (opens new window)

Last updated: 07/05/2024 16:48:20