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Tackling food poverty

Ensuring children and families do not go hungry has always been our priority  and great efforts continue to be made to ensure that doesn’t happen in Derbyshire.


On this page is information and links to the various places residents can go to for support if they are struggling to feed themselves or their family.

The Feeding Derbyshire Partnership

We work closely with and provide funding to Feeding Derbyshire, a countywide partnership led by Rural Action Derbyshire, which works to support and feed people who are struggling either in debt or on low incomes, an issue heightened during the pandemic.

Feeding Derbyshire supports a range of programmes including the school holiday food programme, community food banks and community kitchens across the county.

Currently 15 holiday hunger clubs are being supported and it is estimated that between 1,300 and 1,500 children and young people will benefit from this during this half term.

Food banks and school holiday food

We gave £100k to Foundation Derbyshire to distribute to local food banks at the beginning of lockdown in March and we have just agreed to provide a further £150,000 to be distributed in the run up to Christmas.

Earlier this year we received £808,000 from DEFRA to support people who were struggling to afford essentials due to the impact of coronavirus and of that £158,000 was spent on emergency food supplies and a further £40,000 directly on the school holiday food programme.

We work closely with more than 35 food banks across the county which are run by our partners in the voluntary, community and independent sector.

Derbyshire Discretionary Fund

Our Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) is available to families in receipt of certain means-tested benefits.

Up to 12 October 2020 DDF has given support to 3,218 families with children during this financial year totalling £134,310.

Benefits advice

Our welfare rights team can help you find out about the benefits you are entitled to and how to claim.

More information

Across the county just over 23,800 children are eligible for free school meals (FSM) and we have regular drives to promote and encourage parents and carers to ensure they are signed up so their children can receive them. 

At the beginning of the pandemic the government provided vouchers for families whose children were eligible for free school meals, and due to some difficulties with registering for the voucher scheme our school catering service provided more than 6,000 food boxes to schools to distribute to families during the Easter holidays and around 1,000 food boxes during Whit week. Each box was worth the value of a week’s school meals per child and we claimed the cost of providing these from the child’s FSM allowance. 

For this October half term, schools have been able to order food parcels from our schools catering service for their families who are eligible for FSM. School pay for this from their budget, and a total of 11 primary schools have purchased these for families.