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Help with food

As the cost of living increases, it can be hard to afford food. This page lists food banks, food pantries and other kinds of food help available in Southwark. 

Southwark Free School Meals

Any pupil who is eligible for benefits-related free school meals will receive a free meal, funded by the government, during term time. In Southwark, any nursery and primary school pupil not eligible for benefits-related free school meals is also able to get a free meal, during term time, via the Southwark free healthy school meal offer. Some secondary school pupils can now also access free school meals during term time.

Check your eligibility and apply for free school meals

Southwark Food Action Alliance's food map

Southwark Food Action Alliance's food map provides information on a variety of low-cost and free food services across Southwark.

Southwark Food Action Alliance's food map 

This map is independent of Southwark Council and we cannot verify that the information on it is accurate

Healthy Start Scheme

Get help to buy fruit, vegetables and milk if you’re on a low income, pregnant or have a child under 4 years old.

Visit the Healthy Start website

Rose Vouchers to buy fruit and vegetables 

The Rose Vouchers for Fruit & Veg Project helps pregnant women and families with children under five years old who live in SE1, SE5, SE15 and SE17 on low incomes or No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF) to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.  

Register for Rose vouchers  

Help to get food if you cannot afford or access it

Get help if you cannot afford to buy food or can’t access food by applying to crisis support and finding ways to increase the money you have or by using local food banks, community pantries or low-cost food options. 

Visit our Getting food help if you can't access it webpage

Southwark’s food and fun holiday programme

Our Food and Fun holiday programme supports families during the Easter, summer and winter school holidays to access free, healthy food and fun enriching activities. 

It is for children aged between four and 16 years old who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals and those with no recourse to public funds. 

Children can take part in a wide range of holiday activities. They also get a healthy meal and snack each day and recipe-kit boxes over the summer so they can cook nutritious meals at home. 

Visit our Food and Fun holiday programme webpage

Community fridges

Community fridges help people and local businesses share food, rather than letting it go to waste.

Find your nearest community fridge.

The Food Bus

The Food Bus is a double-decker bus that stops in different parts of London and offers groceries and cupboard items at affordable prices. 

Find out the food bus times and locations

Food banks

Food banks are run by community organisations. They collect donations of non-perishable food and give it out as emergency aid to members of the public who are experiencing financial hardship and food insecurity, or people who have no recourse to public funds.

How to use a food bank

You usually need to be referred by an organisation to use food bank services. You can contact our Southwark Community Support Alliance who will support you with referrals to local food banks.

The Southwark Community Support Alliance will be able to organise food banks or shopping help and can link you up to help and support the community. 

Pecan food banks  

Pecan works using a voucher referral system. To get help from one of Pecan’s food banks, you will need a voucher issued by a local agency before arriving at a centre.  

Spring Community Hub food banks  

Spring Community Hub works on a voucher referral system.  Visit the Spring Community Hub website for more information.

Foursquare Church

New Covenant Church

St Paul's Church

Spring Community Hub - Wilson Road

Food pantries

Food pantries are shops that provide low-cost food. To use a food pantry you need to become a member. Members can buy a variety of healthy foods at a subsidised price. Membership tends to cost around £4 per shop, which allows you to get around £15 of food.

Peckham Pantry, Peckham Park Road (Pecan)

  • 49-53 Peckham Park Road, SE15 6TU (open in Google Maps)
  • opening times Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 4pm, Tuesday 11am to 4pm and Thursday 10am to 7pm
  • email pantry@pecan.org.uk or phone 020 7277 7075 

Peckham Pantry, St Luke's Church (Pecan)

Love North Southwark: Bermondsey Pantry

The Borough Food Co-operative

Paxton Green time bank: Paxton Pantry

Free food (meals, cafés and apps)

Hope Tuesday Café

Open to all, tea, coffee and hot meals served at 1pm (cold buffet-style food served during periods of hot weather). Social activity including quizzes planned after lunch with tea, coffee and cake.

All Saints Church Café

Open to all, the community café provides tea, coffee and cakes. Also other activities and free wi-fi. 

Foodcycle Peckham

Manna Centre

Open to all, especially people who are homeless. Provides breakfast and lunch (showers, clothing, housing, welfare advice and medical care also provided)

The Castle Canteen 

Open to all (free, but £1 donations are welcome). Community canteen; hot vegetarian meal cooked on site. 

Webber Street Day Centre 

For local rough sleepers and homeless people (aged 18+).

Walworth Living Room

Open to all, a warm welcome: cafe, community fridge and social activities. Some activities are free, others are low-cost. Please contact for more information. 

Food for free using the Olio app 

An app that allows you to connect with people giving away unwanted food for free. Find out more and download the app www.olioex.com 

Page last updated: 06 December 2023

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