Help with food

Halton’s social supermarkets are open to all. They offer great quality surplus food and household items from supermarkets at reduced prices available in a local community setting. If you could benefit from saving on some essentials please visit: 

  • Queens Pantry: Queens Avenue, Ditton, WA8 8GR (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm)
  • The Route Café: Grenfell House, 116 Widnes Road, Widnes, WA8 6AX (Mon-Fri, 10am-4pm)
  • Community Pantry: Palacefields Community Centre, WA7 2UA (Weds, 10am-12 noon)
  • The Hillcrest Centre, Leaside, Halton Brook, Runcorn WA7 2DY (Thur​ 10am-11.30am)
  • Halton Royal British Legion: British Legion, Castle Road, Runcorn, WA7 2BE (Tues, Weds & Fri, 1-2pm)

Another great resource is the Community Shop that also offer reduced price food and household items alongside some great support services available to all their customers. To access the shop you must receive some form of benefit and join for free by filling in the short form on the link below.

Location & opening times: Priory House, Northway, Palacefields, Runcorn, WA7 2FS (Mon-Fri 8am-4pm, Sat 8am-3pm).

View google map showing the locations of Social Supermarkets »

Healthy Start

National scheme that gives parents money to buy infant formula, milk and fruit and vegetables. Nearly 30% of those eligible for this cash boost are currently not signed up. Please use the link below to check your eligibility and fill in the short application. 

How to apply – Get help to buy food and milk (Healthy Start)

You’ll receive:

  • £4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week
  • £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
  • £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old

Free School Meals

All children in Reception Class, Year 1 and Year 2 are entitled to receive a free school meal under the Universal Free School Meal entitlement.

Free school meals may also be available for your child if you receive means tested benefits. Find out more and apply for free school meals here.

Local food banks

If you are struggling to get enough food due to hardship, you can be issued a voucher for use at a local food bank. Vouchers can be issued for 3 days’ worth of food.

You need to be issued with a voucher from a referral agent to be able to use one of the food banks.

To find out more on how to use local foodbanks, visit one of the following:  

Discretionary Support In urgent need, you can also apply to the Council’s discretionary support team who may be able to help with food and emergency support. Telephone 0800 952 0016 (Freephone from landlines) or e-mail Open 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4:30pm on a Friday. 

FREE Taster Cookery Sessions are back in January!

If you take home less than £26,000 a year, come and join our FREE taster cookery sessions. Sessions last for two hours and at the end of the session you will receive a FREE slow cooker and a FREE food voucher for your local supermarket.

The scheme is funded by the household support fund which has come to us via central government.

To secure your place, contact the team on 0151 511 5200 or email

Download the PDF for full details of venues and times.