For people in crisis who need help to access free food, here are several services that may be able to help (last updated 26 February 2021)

The East Lothian Food Bank

  • a typical food parcel contains a minimum of three days of nutritionally balanced, non-perishable, tinned and dried foods. Some foodbanks also provide fresh produce if they are able to. Referrals for The East Lothian Food bank are needed via a registered organisation such as Health, Social Work and CAB

East Lothian Fareshare Hub

  • t he East Lothian Fareshare Hub is located at the basement of Aldhammer House, Prestonpans High Street. Surplus supermarket food is currently available free of charge for community groups in East Lothian. To find out more email: eastlothianfaresharehub@gmail.com

Free school meals

Musselburgh

  • basics Banks (Edinburgh City Mission) - provide a 3-4 day supply of both fresh and dried groceries Open to all and referral needed from Social Work, Health, CAB, and East Lothian Council using the online referral form.
  • services available from Wallyford Community Centre, Whitecraig Village Hub and Musselburgh:

    • pantry - providing food, toiletries, baby supplies, pet food and face masks. Opening hours, Monday to Thursday, 9:30am to 12noon  Provided on a ‘call and collect’ basis. Phone 0131 653 2804 or private message the Community Centres’ Facebook pages. Free confidential service.

    • family meal packs - including recipe and fresh ingredients provided on a ‘call and collect’ basis. Meal packs must be booked by Monday for a Thursday collection.  Phone 0131 653 2804 or private message the Community Centres’ Facebook pages. 

Preston, Seton, Gosford

  • pennypit Community Development Trust in Prestonpans - pantry, hardship fund, meals on wheels for socially isolated and family recipe packs open Monday to Saturday 11:00am to 1:00pm. Find out what's on on the Pennypit Community Development Trust FaceBook page.
  • foodbank Plus + Lighthouse Hub (Edinburgh City Mission) Prestonpans. Provide a 3-4 day supply of both fresh and dried groceries Open to all and referral needed from Social Work, Health, CAB, and East Lothian Council using the online referral form.
  • Port Seton Centre – Open Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:00pm. Drop in pantry of store cupboard and fresh ingredients and a hardship fund for support with food, gas and electric.  Family recipe packs are available by calling the centre and a paid meals on wheels service for those who are socially isolated.  Find out more on the Port Seton Centre Facebook page
  • Longniddry Community Centre –  Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9:15am to 12:15pm. Drop in pantry of store cupboard and fresh ingredients and a hardship fund for support with food, gas and electric. Family recipe packs are available by calling the centre.  Find out more on the Longniddry Community Centre Facebook page
  • DadsWork Prestonpans – Pantry available for dads. Find out more on the DadsWork Facebook page

Tranent area

  • Fundamental Foods - referrals through Facebook and Twitter
  • Fa’side Community Pantry - a new community pantry is available within the Volunteer Centre East Lothian (VCEL) building at 56 Tranent High Street. The pantry will be open 10:00am to 2:00pm, Monday to Friday and provides non-perishables, fruit and vegetables, fresh products including milk, cheese, yogurts and some baked goods.
  • Fa’side Community Kitchen - 2 course meal and refreshments - donations to FCK. Open to anyone - drop in 12-1:30pm weekly Tuesday and Thursday at ELCO Tranent - dementia friendly. 
  • Saturday Kitchen - A provision for all of the community providing hot food including breakfast rolls. There is also a community pantry with everyday essentials including toiletries. Utility top-ups are also available. Open Saturdays from 10:00am to 12noon at St Martins Church Hall, 150 High Street, Tranent, EH33 1HJ.
  • East Lothian Food Bank - Open Monday-Friday, 10:00am to 2:00pm. 3 Civic Square, Tranent, East Lothian, EH33 1LH. For more information call: 07516 510 617

For more information contact Ruth on 07515 952 631 or email ruthdavie73@gmail.com

Haddington and Lammermuir area

Our Community Kitchen’s aim is to bring people together in the Haddington and Lammermuir area who are socially isolated to share good hearty home cooked food in a relaxed and friendly environment, allowing for friendships to form. There are no barriers to age or ability all are welcome. A referral is required though, for example, from a GP, Health Professional, Social Work or via other routes. For more information including how to make a referral please contact elaine@ourcommunitykitchen.org.uk or visit Facebook.

Haddington Community Council have secured funding to support local families who are experiencing difficulties during the pandemic; they have set up the HCC food voucher and clothing grant scheme for local families. Referrals should be made by professionals working with individuals/families. For a referral form and more information please call 07483 911391 or email vicechair@haddingtoncc.org.uk 

The Lammermuir Larder started in February 2021. The food initiative is based in Haddington and run by local community volunteers. The Lammermuir Larder is available to anyone who finds themselves in need of emergency food and support.  A week’s supply of groceries, fresh fruit and vegetables and a voucher for meat for the local butchers is delivered to the person in needs door.  Referrals can be made by professionals working with families or people can self-refer. For a referral form and more information please call 07483 911391 or email team@lammermuirlarder.co.uk 

Dunbar and East Linton area

  • Dunbar Basics food bank - covers Dunbar and surrounding villages, providing food, toiletries and household cleaning products, sufficient support for the client and any dependents for 4 days.  Referrals need to come from professionals working with people who are considered to be in crisis and will give advice and guidance of appropriate support agencies that can help. Email: dunbarbasicsbank@gmail.com or call: 07760 957613

  • Dunbar basics food bank: growing and cooking projectsDunbar Basics Food Bank have continued to support and issue home cooked, nutritious Sunny Soups throughout the year for people getting food help. If cooking is something some people need help with then the Dunbar basics food bank, The Ridge, Homestart and other professionals can arrange for a voucher for the “Crunchy Cook bag” meal kit bags with all the ingredients for a simple, 4-portion meal, plus a recipe and a link to a how-to video.  Customers of the Crunchy Carrot are generously donating bags for community distribution. Some of these are half price, some are free. Professionals then have access to the vouchers to give out, via their organisations.  People can then pre-order a bag and hand the voucher over on collection for either their discount or freebie

  • Sunny Soups is a food waste project run in partnership by the Crunchy Carrot and The Ridge, which has proved a lifeline for the project through the pandemic, allowing them to continue making free food for people each week. This has been distributed by the Basics Bank

North Berwick Coastal area

North Berwick Resilience Hub 9am to 3pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They offer food support with fresh, frozen and dried goods, toiletries, pet food and essential cleaning products. Hearing aid batteries are also able to be provided to those who need them. They can supply craft packs for children, books and DVD’s and have a toy library available. For help contact Katie on 07814293296.

Coronavirus

If you are affected by coronavirus, for example you have been told to self-isolate and you require advice about what local support may be available, contact the Council’s Covid-19 helpline on 01875 824300 (from 8:00am to 8:00pm, 7 days a week) or email: customerservices@eastlothian.gov.uk

Read guidance and resources from the Dignity in Practice project.