I need a food parcel, how do I get one?

If you need emergency food because you are isolated or you can't afford food, you can request an emergency food parcel, which will be delivered to you. You will need to go via one of our agencies and you can find their details on the "Get Help" page of this website. It could be your school, a church or Citizen's Advice - you'll need to contact one of them so that they can fill out a referral form for you.

A food parcel will be delivered to your home and we will leave it on your doorstep and give you call on your mobile when we arrive. We will make sure that we stay at least two metres from you and our teams will have disposable gloves on when they handle your food parcel. The parcel will contain 15kg of food and will also include some shower gel, shampoo, soap and toothpaste. If you need nappies or pet food, please let your referral agent know and they can request them.

What's in a food parcel?

Our emergency food parcels are 15kg of food that can be quickly and easily cooked. We will supply fresh food if we can alongside it.

Your food parcel will contain tinned beans, meat, fruit, fish, vegetables, tomatoes, soup, rice pudding, jam, juice, long life milk, pasta sauce, sugar, pasta, tea bags, sponge puddings, mash, instant noodles, biscuits, cup a soup, instant rice and custard. It should be enough to last you for several days and if there are more people in your household we will add in additional items. 

We can also supply pet food, nappies and baby items by request so if you have any specific needs or allergies, or you don't have cooking facilities, please let your referring agent know and they can make sure that our teams are aware.

Who is eligible to receive a food parcel?

In a fast moving situation it's difficult for us to have very strict rules about who can and can't have a food parcel because we know that there are lots of reasons at the moment. We are working with agencies such as schools, charities, churches and councillors and health professionals who will be able to ask you some questions to and decide if you are eligible to have one. You will qualify to receive emergency food if you are:

Self isolating, over 70 and unable to access food or money

Struggling on a low income, with debt, unemployment or if you've been sanctioned

If you have applied for Universal Credit and are waiting for a payment, or if you are struggling to apply at the moment and have no money for food

If you are a single parent who is self isolating and can't access food

If you are on your own, self isolating and can't access food

If you are very unwell and can't access food

Your referring agent will be able to fill in an online referral and we will deliver a food parcel to you. We will aim to deliver within 24 hours if we can. If your situation is very urgent, please make sure that you let your agent know so that we can deliver as quickly as we can.

How many times can I ask for a food parcel?

During this Coronavirus crisis we will allow all households to receive a parcel every week, but you will need to request one each week as we won't automatically send out repeats. We will be able to spot any abuse by monitoring our systems and anyone found to be trying to order multiple parcels in excess of what is reasonable will not be allowed any more food.

Will you deliver my food parcel?

Our referring agents will be able to request parcels to be delivered either to them (in the case of a school, for instance) or directly to your home if you are self isolating and can't get out to collect a parcel. We will ask for your name and address and the number of people in your household. We will keep your details strictly confidential.

Who will deliver my parcel?

We are working with council staff and volunteers to deliver food parcels. All drivers and teams will deliver with identifiable uniform (either Lancaster City Council or Morecambe Bay Foodbank) and they will be wearing disposable gloves and they will also ensure to stay at least 2 metres from you when delivering. In most situations our drivers will leave your parcel on your doorstep and call you to make sure that you know that it's there. 

All our staff and volunteers have signed confidentiality agreements so no one will know that you have requested a food parcel.

How do I become a referring agent / agency?

If you are a charity, church, councillor, school, health professional or you are working in any other organisation that works with vulnerable people, you can register to be a referral agency and you can request food parcels for delivery. In order to register as an agency please email the following information to lancasterdistrictcovid19@gmail.com

  • Your organisation name
  • Your staff name(s), emails and phone numbers
  • Your address
  • Your logo if you have one

If you have any questions about becoming an agency, please email us or give us a call on 01524 932 001.

Can I donate food?

Yes! Please do donate food if you can. The Morecambe Bay Foodbank has donation points at the following places:

Asda Lancaster

Sainsbury's Lancaster

Sainsbury's Morecambe

Tesco Carnforth

We are particularly in need of instant mash, pasta sauce, sponge puddings, instant rice, long life juice, long life milk and tea and coffee. Thank you.

Can I donate money?


Supporting all our communities through the pandemic is only possible through the tireless work of community groups and charitable organisations to reach those in need. Lancaster District CVS has launched The Urgent Response Fund to provide financial resources to organisations and groups providing support across the Lancaster district. Small grants are available for projects and activities supporting the basic health and wellbeing needs of our residents, particularly the more vulnerable members of the community.

There are regular rounds for applying and we aim to get the support to groups within a couple of weeks of the deadlines.
To apply for funding as a community group or charitable organisations, please click here: https://lancastercvs.org.uk/funding/coronavirus/.

To donate to the Fund, please click here: https://www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/coronavirus.

Who is running this website?

The Lancaster District Emergency Food Team is being run by Lancaster City Council in partnership with the Morecambe Bay Foodbank and other charities. Emergency food will be sent out to vulnerable residents who need it using a referral system from our food hub located at Salt Ayre Leisure Centre. Any church, charity, councillor, school, health professional or other organisation in a position to make a decision about emergency food can register to be an agency, and will then be able to refer people for a food parcel. This website has been created by Lancaster based Hotfoot Design.

Can I come to Salt Ayre Leisure Centre?

No. Salt Ayre Leisure Centre has been set up as a distribution hub. If you need food you need to be referred and we will deliver it to you. We will not issue any food parcels directly from Salt Ayre either to individuals or agencies (without prior arrangement).

I am struggling to order food online. Where can I find a list of local organisations who are delivering?

The City Council has put together an interactive map of businesses who are open and delivering and you can access it below: