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Wheelie bins

Latest updates on rollout of wheelie bins for refuse in Lewes district

Help if you are struggling to afford food

If you are finding you can't afford food there is a range of support available through local authority and community services.

The two sections at the end of this page give details of food banks and related groups and services in Lewes district and Eastbourne.

If you are looking for low-cost and healthy recipes, the BBC website has lots of ideas for individuals, families and different diets: BBC low cost recipes

Food vouchers 

If you are struggling to afford food local agencies can issue you with a food voucher to use at some food banks. The same local agencies can work with you to provide support to help address some of the issues behind the reasons for your crisis. 

Once you have been issued with a voucher, you can exchange this for a minimum of three days of emergency food at your nearest food bank.

Food banks

If you are struggling to afford food, food banks could help. You will usually need a food bank voucher referral to use one. 

Contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) who will able to speak to you about your financial circumstances and can refer you to a food bank. 

If for any reason you can't be supported by your local CAB, then Community hubs, voluntary and community sector organisations and local authorities can also refer people to food banks.

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
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided you're not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

Children who get paid these benefits directly, instead of through a parent or guardian, can also get free school meals.

Your child may also get free school meals if you get any of these benefits and your child is both:

  • younger than the compulsory age for starting school
  • in full-time education

To find out more about free school meals in East Sussex visit East Sussex County Council - free school meals

Healthy Start

If you're more than 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under 4, the Healthy Start scheme can help you:

  • buy healthy foods like milk or fruit
  • get free vitamins

You need to be claiming certain benefits to qualify.

If you're pregnant and under 18 you can claim even if you do not receive any benefits.

Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme (DESSS)

The Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme (DESSS) provides emergency help in certain situations. It does not provide cash or loans but may provide the food or utilities that you need. Your household will usually only be able to receive support from the scheme once in 12 months. 

For more information and to apply visit Discretionary East Sussex Support Scheme

Fareshare Sussex

Fareshare Sussex redistributes food industry surplus which would otherwise be wasted, to the people that need it most.

They provide food to charities and groups that deliver services in addition to meals, such as advice and guidance, health support, counselling and befriending, to help break the cycle of poverty and use food as a vehicle for good above and beyond alleviating hunger. 

For more information visit their website Fare Share Sussex

Rehab 4 Addiction

Rehab 4 Addiction was founded to assist those affected by substance misuse and their loved ones. They offer a range of services, and help signpost you to the most effective treatments. This includes alcohol rehab, drug rehab, detox services, intervention, aftercare and outpatient counselling. Their helpline advisors off immediate assistance to those struggling with addiction, they are committed to helping you in your quest to locate effective treatments for addiction and offer a comprehensive directory of treatment centres throughout the UK, making it easier for those in need to find help near them.

Visit the Rehab 4 Addiction website to find out more.

Help for Lewes residents if you are struggling to afford food

Food banks in Lewes district

If you live in Lewes district you can find your nearest food bank by visiting 1Space East Sussex

Lewes District Food Partnership

A new district-wide initiative all about food is getting off the ground and it's looking for members of the community to get involved. The overall aim of the work, which has been commissioned by East Sussex County Council (Public Health) and is being hosted by SCDA, is to set up a cross-sector food partnership that will work together to improve local food security.

To find out more visit their website Sussex Community - Lewes District Food Partnership

Accessing emergency food and financial support leaflet

Help for Eastbourne residents if you are struggling to afford food

Eastbourne Food Partnership

Eastbourne Food Partnership aims to create a more resilient and sustainable local food system, helping to strengthen the local food economy, reduce waste and make fresh healthy food accessible to all. Following the examples and principles of the 'sustainable food cities' model, it is working to develop a network of collaboration between community groups, food producers, key decision makers and consumers. 

For more information visit their Facebook page Facebook - Eastbourne Food Partnership

Eastbourne food bank

Eastbourne Food bank provides three days worth of nutritional food in exchange for a food voucher. They also provide advocacy and advice, toiletries, nappies, shows, bedding baby equipment, crockery and cutlery. 

They have locations across Eastbourne - to find your nearest location visit Eastbourne Food Bank

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army provides friendship, help and practical support to those in need in the community:

Matthew 25 Mission

The Matthew 25 Mission, Brodie Hall, Christ Church, Seaside, provide practical assistance and support for anyone in need.  Volunteers at the Mission aim to support people trying to rebuild broken lives, especially those with life-threatening addictions, loneliness, bereavement, unemployed, homelessness, offending issues, and other challenges.  

Community fridges and pantries

Community fridges, larders and pantries redistribute surplus or donated food, providing an important function in reducing food waste and improving access to food in the community.  

In Eastbourne there are currently two community fridge/pantries: 

  • Facebook - Langney Community Centre, Etchingham Road, Eastbourne. Telephone: 01323 763762 Community Fridge and Larder - Tuesday and Wednesday, 10-1 £2 for up to 10 items, everyone is welcome to become a member, one visit per household.
  • Facebook - Seaside Community Hub, 125 Seaside Road, Eastbourne. Telephone: 01323 371322. Community Fridge and Larder. Wednesday and Friday, from 10am £2 per visit for up to 10 items, everyone is welcome to become a member.
  • Old Town Community Fridge - Wednesdays 8.30am to 10am - Victoria Baptist Church
  • Willingdon Trees Community fridge - Weekdays 10am to 3pm

Warming up the Homeless

For homeless emergencies, and to report a homeless person you are concerned about, you can call their helpline 07367060708Warming Up The Homeless provides outreach in Eastbourne on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 7.30pm opposite The Grand Hotel, King Edward's Parade.


Facebook - Feedbourners is a self-funding community group of like-minded people who get together to provide a home cooked hot meal and a breakfast pack to the homeless community in Eastbourne. They also provide small provisions of toiletries, underwear, hats, gloves, socks, sleeping bags when possible.

Feedbourners meet 7.30pm every Wednesday outside Cafe Republic in Terminus Road, Eastbourne until food runs out, usually around 8pm. Please contact via the Feedbourners Facebook page.

Eastbourne Sunday Soup Kitchen

Delivers soup and hot drinks to the street community in Eastbourne Town Centre. It takes place every alternate Sunday between 1pm - 2pm starting  from the 12th December through to March 2022. Contact Andy Holter Mobile 07710 480512,  Email

Community centres, churches and charities

These providing a range of support including community cafés, meals for the vulnerable, and affordable meals for residents in their local area.  These activities vary, and it is advised to visit your local community centre website, social media or notice board to find updates.  The list below provides some examples of this support.

  • Langney Community Centre, Etchingham Road, 01323 763762 - community café
  • Willingdon Trees Community Centre, Holly Place, 01323 504438 - community café
  • Seaside Community Hub, 125 Seaside, BN22 7NN, 01323 371322, open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 11am - 3.30pm, offering tea/coffee and cake and a warm space, as well as community fridge (see above) and a "library of things". PC Helping Hands on Thursday and Saturday  11am - 3.30pm for help, advice, repairs, filling in forms, photocopying and printing and all your digital needs. Wave Community Bank on Thursdays 1pm - 3pm, your local ethical community bank offering accounts, savings and loans. 
  • Age Concern - The William and Patricia Venton Centre, Junction Road, Eastbourne, 01323 638474  - offering a range of free information, advice and services for the elderly, and a community cafe open to all.  Open Mon-Fri, 9-4.  Advice walk-ins on Wednesday and Friday.
  • Gather Community Allotment - Churchdale Road allotments, Eastbourne, 07869 706620. An inclusive space for reconnecting with nature and winding down, with a pop-up lunch/cafe on Fridays, please call for details.
  • Leaf Hall Community Kitchen - 51 Seaside, Eastbourne BN22 7NB. 
    • Free Friday takeaways - prepared with love in the community kitchen and available for collection from the venue from 12.30-1pm. To order your free take away please text Clare on 07902 214809 saying your name, number of adult portions, number of children's portions, ages of children, and if you are vegetarian. If you want to come and cook as part of the team, please email 
    • New Leaf Café - Every Thursday 12-1.30, "the most joyous café in Eastbourne" providing a delicious 2 course lunch for £5 as part of a training programme for Mencap clients.
    • World Food Community café - Every Wednesday Our Neighbourhood holds a drop-in session for refugees and asylum seekers at Leaf Hall from 9.30am-1pm, where they can learn how to cook, or practice new recipes. 
  • TechResort - 23a Cavendish Place, Digital drop-ins Fridays 12 midday - 3pm offering free digital help and advice. Contact online.
  • Christians Against Poverty Eastbourne Debt Centre.  Provides free debt advice and personal support in Eastbourne.  Visit Helen at the Old Town Community Fridge, or book in by calling 0800 328 0006.