District food network

Food resources in the Folkestone and Hythe District area.

About the District Food Network

The Folkestone and Hythe District Food Network (DFN) was set up in 2021 to gain a better understanding of need across the Folkestone & Hythe District Council area and to enable everyone to know who is delivering what food services to which groups of service users.

It is open to all organisations that provide food services and provides a forum in which they can communicate, share information and coordinate their activities. Members of the network can lend their different areas of expertise to identify barriers that prevent access to good food and to work together to address gaps in service provision.

The first action of the DFN was to research and map food services provision across Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh. This work brought to light the very wide range of successful, small-scale community-based projects that are operating in the district.

Many of these community projects are primarily focused on reducing food waste and keeping supply chains local rather than specifically addressing food poverty, but by increasing access to affordable, fresh food they complement the work of the better-known, larger voluntary organisations and statutory agencies.


Shepway Foodbank

Supported by the Trussell Trust, this operates from the Rainbow Centre and takes referrals from a variety of organisations to help people with low incomes, delayed benefits, or facing food poverty. Clients can also call the Help through Hardship Freephone number (0808 208 2138) to obtain a referral voucher, or if this is not possible, they can call the foodbank on 0791 357 3403.

The foodbank is based at three locations. Parcels are currently delivered in:

  • Folkestone & Hythe on Tuesdays and Fridays 

In Lydd and New Romney, the Foodbanks operate a collection service:

  • Lydd - Fridays, 6pm – 7pm, at Hardy Hall, Skinner Road, Lydd, TN29 9HN.
  • New Romney - Tuesdays 4pm – 5.30pm at Romney Marsh Community Church, The Centre, North Street, New Romney TN28 8DW

The Rainbow Centre 

(69 Sandgate Road, Folkestone, CT20 2AF) holds emergency food parcels, which can be collected from the centre during opening hours (10am - 1pm, Monday - Friday).

Donation collection points for the Shepway Foodbank can be found at locations across the district – Download the app ‘Bank the food’ follow Shepway Foodbank to find their nearest collection points and their needs in real time. 

The Rainbow Centre intends to start a mobile food bank service in 2023, to be part-funded by the UK government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and is working with other members of the DFN on its delivery and operation.

Hythe Salvation Army

Hythe Salvation Army foodbank is open on Wednesdays from 10am - noon at the Salvation Army Hall, Hythe CT21 6EG (01303 268792). No referral is needed.

Family Foodbanks

Family Foodbank Information

Vouchers for the foodbanks can be obtained by self-referral to a Distribution Centre and from some professionals.

Distribution Centres:

  • People Plus, 145-147 Sandgate Road, Folkstone, CT20 2DA
  • New Romney CC Craythorne Lane New Romney TN28 8 BL Tel 03000 420000 -  families only
  • The Village  CC Denmark Street, Folkestone, CT19 6EQ Tel 03000 420893 - families only
  • Folkestone Early Years CC Dover Rd Folkestone CT20 1QF  Tel 03000 419727 - families only
  • Caterpillars CC Chart Rd, Folkestone CT19 4PN  Tel 03000 416444 - families Only
  • East Kent College EKC - Westcliff House, Westcliff Gardens, Folkestone CT20 1SZ. Tel: 01843 230876 - college students only
  • Folkestone & Hythe Social Services
  • Stella Maris Catholic Primary School, Parkfield Rd, Folkestone CT19 5BY – Sunshine Team Food Pantry, open during school hours for anyone who needs support. Run on a ‘give what you can, take what you need’ basis – dried goods only.

For more information email: familyfoodbank@children-families.org

Turner Stone Centre - Folkestone Academy

A family foodbank is run at the school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They also run ‘Cooking on a Shoestring’ family workshops on Tuesdays, 4.30-5.30pm. 

Community Fridge 

Reduces food waste by receiving and offering donated food to anyone in the community. Open every day except Tuesday and Sunday. Located in Wood Avenue Library, 17 Wood Avenue, Folkestone, CT19 6HS.
For more information including detailed opening hours see Folkestone Community Fridge  

A community fridge is also to be located in the Marigold Centre, Shaftesbury Road, Cheriton which is currently in development, and more fridges are likely to be opened across the District as the year progresses.

Social Supermarket 

Hythe Pantry 

Run by the Rainbow Centre under the ‘My Local Pantry’ franchise at the Catholic church of Our Lady of Good Counsel.

  • open all day every Monday 9.15am – 4pm and Tuesday 9.15am – 1.30pm. For £5.00
  • members can purchase food worth about £25.00 plus free bread, fruit and vegetables
  • volunteers ensure a friendly, welcoming atmosphere, offering tea and coffee, a warm clothes exchange rail

There are regular visits from the NHS wellbeing service ‘One You’, RSPCA and information and signposting to other services is available. For more information go to Your Local Pantry website

Community support and advice 

Organisations and support groups based in the community and offering a range of food-related support or projects.

Age UK South Kent Coast and the Folkestone Community Hub

  • The Marigold Centre, 65 Shaftesbury Road, Cheriton, CT19 4NS.
  • Lunch club for over 55s, 12pm Monday-Thursday - delicious, freshly cooked two course meal = £6.50.
  • Meal Delivery, 7 days a week = £7. Also provides access to emergency food (and other essential goods and services) for those in most need. Open 10am – 3pm, Monday – Friday.

Age UK Hythe and the Hythe Community Hub

  • Sanford House, Stade Street, Hythe, CT21 6BD
  • Day centre offering information, advice and support for over 55s, 
  • A café open to all, and a meal delivery service. In addition provides access to emergency food (and other essential goods and services) for those most in need.
  • Open 9am – 3.45pm, Monday – Friday, and 10am – 2pm Saturday and Sunday (phone line only).

Romney Marsh Community Hub

  •  Rolfe Lane, New Romney, TN28 8JR. Provides a range of services:
  • Community Hub providing information, advice and support for the over 50s. Open Monday – Friday 9am – 4pm
  • Tuesday to Thursday the Sunflower Café is open and lunch can also be booked
  • Hot meal delivery service for the over 50s, from Monday to Friday, with frozen meals available for the weekend
  • Home Support Service available for domestic chores and shopping
  • The hub can also provide a referral to a food bank for those in need

Age UK Lyminge 

  • 63 Station Road, Lyminge, CT18 8HQ.
  • Provides a range of services including a day centre providing information, advice, and support for the over 55s
  • A café open to all members of the community and dementia day care, including lunch provision
  • Open Monday – Friday

Other community resources 

Feeding Folkestone. A WhatsApp group of local independent businesses and organisations (including Action on Homelessness, Locavore, Incredible Edibles, and Hythe Environmental Group) providing community gardens, educational initiatives, gleaning, food waste initiatives etc., as well as provision of fresh food. Feeding Folkestone runs the Community Fridge in Wood Avenue Library, Folkestone.

Shepway Youth Hub

  • Grace Hill, Folkestone, CT20 1ET.
  • Runs a free rolling six-week programme of life skills sessions, including budgeting, cooking, and CV writing for 11 – 18 year olds.
  • Thursday evenings, 6pm – 7pm for 11 -13 age group, and 7.30pm – 8.30pm for 14+

The Rainbow Centre Food Stop

  • A mobile service located behind the Folkestone Magistrate Court at 5pm and the Harbour at 5.20pm.
  • Providing sandwiches, snacks, bread, water, toiletries, socks and sleeping bags.
  • Available to all members of the community, with a focus on hard to reach clients who do not engage with other services, and those who are homeless without access to cooking facilities.
  • Runs Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays

Action on Homelessness

  • Offers hot lunches to anyone in the community
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays at Sunflower House, Foord Road, Folkestone, CT19 5AE.

Sunflower House

  • Provides Warm Welcome (warm bank) drop in service
  • Fridays 0930 - 1330, including hot drinks and snacks;
  • health and well-being activity; advice surgery.
  • Works alongside and in tandem with Action on Homelessness For further info visit: www.sunflowerhouse.org.uk.

The Beacon Plus Café

  • Provides low cost snacks for all members of the community.
  • It operates from Our Lady Help of Christians Catholic Church, Guildhall St North
  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9.30 – 2.30pm and from Sunflower House on Fridays as part of their WarmBank/ Warm Welcome project.

East Kent College

  • Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone, CT20 2TZ.
  • Provides free meals for 16 – 19 year olds from low income households, as well as grants for 19+ students.

Thoughtful Food Lyminge

  • Lyminge based volunteer-led group, centred around a community allotment at the heart of the village.
  • Thoughtful Food promotes growing and using local, seasonal, organic and sustainable food supplies.
  • TF runs vegetable growing workshops, and organises plant and produce share events.
  • Open to all members of the community.

Locavore Group

  • Martello Primary School, The Warren, Folkestone.
  • Community garden based at the school, focused on encouraging people to eat locally-grown food, as well as offering regular sessions and community events teaching about growing food through the seasons.
  • Open Monday – Thursday afternoons (term time only).

Kent Food Hubs

  • Quarterhouse, Tontine Street, Folkestone, CT20 1JT.
  • Sells organic produce from local suppliers directly to customers, as part of the Open Food Network.
  • Orders placed online, collection on Tuesdays


  • 19 Tontine Street, Folkestone, CT20 1JT.
  • Social enterprise catering company which employs and supports young people and adults with disabilities.
  • Runs a range of activities including cooking and nutrition. Also renting a plot at Pent Farm.

Rotary Clubs

  • There are a number of Rotary Clubs across the district, who offer support on a range of initiatives.
  • more information can be found: https://www.folkestonerotary.org/

Napier Friends

  •  Napier Barracks. Runs a drop in centre including food parcels. Open Wednesdays.

Hythe Environmental Community Group

  • hytheenvironmental.community. Runs various projects in and around Hythe including:
  • Community Kitchen
  • Gleaning of produce from local farms, distributed to Streetz2Streetz, Folkestone Women’s Refuge, KRAN, Action on Homelessness, Home Farm Trust and the Hythe Pantry
  • Community Fruit Press available to borrow by anyone who wants to juice their fruit
  • Network of hop growers who donate hops to local brewers in exchange for beer
  • Seed, plant, and produce swaps twice a year on the Hythe High Street

Custom Food Labs 

  • A collaboration of local artists, activists, and environmentalists linked to various initiatives including Locavore and Kent Food Hubs 
  • customfoodlab.org


  •  Mobile fish and chip van with strong social values that donates hot meals to homeless people during its rounds, and delivers a weekly supply of sandwiches
  •  www.streetz2streetz.com

Incredible Edibles

  • National network that promotes locally produced food and encourages people to grow and harvest vegetables, fruits and herbs in small community spaces.
  • The local group is based in Cheriton and Broadmead and volunteers support community gardens from Cheriton to Sandgate.
  • www.facebook.com/incredibleediblecheriton

Academy FM

  •  Produces podcasts and broadcasts including items on skills for cooking on a budget

Reducing food waste

A number of online resources and apps exist to help redistribute surplus food and reduce food waste. These include:

  • Olio. Allows users to advertise surplus food being given away for free.
  • Too Good To Go. Purchase surplus food from shops at greatly reduced prices.
  • Bank The Food. Allows users to see what items are needed by local foodbanks in real time.
  • Bags of Taste. Delivers parcels with ingredients to cook four meals. Advice on line

Cost of living support 

Additional support may be available through the following:

Faith based support 

South Kent Community Church

  • The Cornerstone Centre, Castle Avenue, Folkestone, CT20 2QR.
  • A drop-in centre for all adults (18 years and above), providing social interaction, hot snacks.
  • Open Mondays and Wednesdays 2.30 – 4.30pm.

Folkestone Baptist Church 

  • Hill Road, Folkestone, CT19 6LY.
  • Provides a drop-in service offering conversation and hot meals for all members of the community.
  • Open Thursday and Saturday mornings.

Holy Trinity Church 

  • Sandgate Road, Folkestone, CT20 2HQ.
  • Provides free lunches for all members of the community.
  • First Friday of the month only.

All Saints C of E Church

  • Park Street, Lydd, TN29 9AS.
  • Provides three-day food parcels from the Shepway Food Bank through a referral system.
  • Open Fridays 6.30 – 7.30pm.
  • Provides emergency food boxes to any member of the community in need, available 24 hours a day.
  • In addition, several of the Romney Marsh churches run small-scale mini-pantries that provide a variety of tinned and fresh groceries and toiletries, open to all.

Sellindge Church 

  • Sellindge church provides a warm space with hot drinks from 10-1 every Thursday, as well as a soup and roll lunch afterwards.
  • In addition a foodbank operates from the church during the same period, and can be accessed via referrals from local schools or by contacting the Church


Many of the supermarkets in the district are signed up to the Neighbourly platform, through which they redistribute surplus food and other products to community groups including food banks.

Other supermarkets and organisations in the District may be signed up to FareShare Kent, part of a national network