For people in crisis who need help to access free food, here are several services that may be able to help.

The East Lothian Food Bank

Open Monday to Friday, 10:00am to 2:00pm at 3 Civic Square, Tranent, East Lothian, EH33 1LH.  The East Lothian Food bank  provides a 3-4 day supply of groceries and fresh fruit and vegetables. Open to all on a referral basis. Works with referral partners across the county including Citizens Advice, East Lothian Council services, NHS services and local charities. For more information call 07516 510 617 or email info@eastlothian.foodbank.org.uk

East Lothian Fareshare Hub

The 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

Find out about entitlement to free school meals.

East Lothian Friendly Food Network

Read the East Lothian Friendly Food Network Good Food Charter

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 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

  • Musselburgh East Community Learning Centre - Community Pantry.  The pantry has a range of everyday items, not just food and is open to anyone living in the Musselburgh area. Customers are asked to contribute £2 for 5 items and £3 for 10 items.  You don’t need to be referred, just drop in at one of the sessions and the volunteers will explain how the pantry works.  Open Mondays 12:00 to 1:00pm and 6:00 to 7:00pm, Tuesdays 6:00 to 7:00pm, Thursdays 6:00 to 7:00pm, and Saturdays 9:00 to 10:00am.  Email musspantry@gmail.com

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. Find out more on the Port Seton Centre Facebook page
  • Longniddry Community Centre – open Monday to 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 our Facebook page and Twitter account
  • 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.
  • 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
  • The Fraser Centre – Community Pantry, open Saturdays 12pm to 2pm, free to anyone in the community, tinned and dried foods, toiletries and some fresh produce
  • Lily's Community Larder - Available to all Ormiston and Pencaitland residents. Based within the community room at Ormiston Library weekly on Saturdays 10am to 12noon. 5 items for £2 providing food, toiletries and cleaning products. Also offers free surplus fruit and vegetables, bakery products, period products and Pet Pantry. Offers a referral for Food Bank if required. 
  • East Lothian Roots and Fruits, Main Street, Elphinstone. Pantry is open 7 days per week. Monday/ Tuesday – 8am till 2pm. Wed/ Thur/ Fri – 8am till 1pm. Sat/ Sun – 8am till 12.30pm.  Fresh produce/ Tesco fareshare every Wednesday and a pet foodbank the first week of each month. Roots and Fruits on Facebook

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

Haddington and Lammermuir area

  • Our Community Kitchen exists to reduce isolation and loneliness in the Haddington and Lammermuir area by bringing people together to eat fresh homecooked food around a large table, allowing for friendships to form in a relaxed atmosphere. There are no barriers to age or ability all are welcome. We welcome referrals from health care professionals, self-referrals and from people locally who see or know someone who would benefit from being involved. If you would like to make a referral or would like any further information please contact elaine@ourcommunitykitchen.org.uk or visit Our Community Kitchen East Lothian on Facebook (please ask to join the group to see our activity)
  • The Lammermuir Larder - based in Haddington and run by local community volunteers. It is available to anyone who finds themselves in need of emergency food and support.  The Larder operates on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.  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 need's door.  Funding is still available from Haddington Community Council for clothing grants to support local families experiencing financial difficulties.  Referrals can be made by professionals working with families or people can self-refer. For a referral form and more information call 07955 148041 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 Kindness Co-operative supports people struggling financially in North Berwick Coastal Ward on each Monday of the week. We offer: foodbank referrals, frozen meals, dried goods, sanitary products, food vouchers for fresh items and pet supplies and home fuel support. We can also supply hearing aid batteries, for those who need them.

North Berwick Community Centre has a range of books and DVDs available for the public to take. The centre is open from 9:00am to 4:30pm daily.

For help contact North Berwick Community Centre on 01620 893056 or email: connectedcommunitiesnorthberwick@eastlothian.gov.uk

Referrals 

Many foodbanks ask for referrals from Citizens Advice, East Lothian Council and others. It’s easy to get a referral and you don’t have to be on means tested benefits or provide evidence about income. This helps us make sure you’re getting all the support you’re entitled to. 

Make sure you are getting all the income you’re entitled to using our benefits calculator or ask your referrer about a benefits check. There’s also lots of information about the support available on our 'Boost your income' pages.

Warm spaces and friendly faces

Find out about local warm and welcoming places

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 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) or email: customerservices@eastlothian.gov.uk

Read guidance and resources from the Dignity in Practice project.