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 DFN also enables understanding to grow in relation to national, regional and local developments around food poverty, relevant initiatives and possible funding sources to develop projects. In addition the network can act as a task and finish group for input to strategic aims and ambitions to address food poverty.


Shepway Foodbank. Supported by the Trussell Trust, this operates from the Rainbow Centre (see below) 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, and currently delivers parcels on the following days: Lydd - Fridays; New Romney - Tuesdays; Folkestone - Tuesdays and Fridays. The foodbank intends to resume a collection service as soon as Covid measures permit.

Items in short supply this month (November) are: custard, long-life milk, tinned meat and toilet rolls. Please ensure all items are unopened and where appropriate, in date. The foodbank has plenty of baked beans, pasta, rice and tinned soup.

Donation collection points can be found at the following locations: FOLKESTONE - Sainsbury West Park Farm, Asda, Halifax, Nationwide, Tesco Express Foord Road, Tesco Express Dover Road, Tesco Express Bouverie Road; CHERITON - Tesco, Rainbow Shop, One Stop, Eurotunnel; LYDD - Hardy Hall; HAWKINGE - Hawkinge Pharmacy, Community Centre, The Village Shop Densole, Tesco Express; ROMNEY MARSH - Romney Marsh Community Church; HYTHE - Waitrose, Nationwide, Post Office. There is also a collection point at the Eurotunnel terminal for staff.

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

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.

Community settings

This section lists organisations and support groups based in the community who offer a range of food-related support or projects. 

Folkestone Community Hub operates from Age UK Folkestone, 65 Shaftesbury Road, Folkestone, CT19 4NS. Provides support with shopping (a £5 delivery charge applied), and access to emergency food (and other essential goods and services) for those affected by Covid-19. Open 9am - 4pm, Monday - Friday.

Hythe Community Hub operates from Age UK Hythe & Lyminge, Sanford House, Stade Street, Hythe, CT21 6BD. Provides support for those affected by Covid-19, providing financial assistance towards food and other essential goods and services. Open 9am - 3.45pm, Monday - Friday, and 10am - 2pm Saturday and Sunday (phone line only).

Hythe Pantry, Our Lady of Good Counsel, 2 Lower Blackhouse Hill, CT21 5LS. The community shop is run by the Rainbow Centre and is part of the Your Local Pantry network.  Members are charged £5 a weekly visit (one visit per household) which entitles them to food worth £20-£25. To find out how to become a member and current opening times, go to Yourlocalpantry.co.uk

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, Monday - Friday;, 9am - 4pm, The Sunflower Café, open Tuesday to Thursday and lunch can also be booked; hot meal delivery service for the over 50s, seven days a week; a personal shopping service is available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The hub can also provide a referral for domestic fuel support or to a food bank for those in need.

Age UK South Kent Coast, The Marigold Centre, 65 Shaftesbury Avenue, Cheriton, CT19 4NS. Provides a lunch club for the over 50s, serving fresh and nutritious meals, at a cost of £6.50 for two courses. Open Monday - Thursday, 12pm - 1.30pm. The centre also offers two-course meals for delivery, seven days a week, at a cost of £7.

Age UK Hythe, Sanford House, Stade Street, Hythe CT21 6BD. Provides a range of services: day centre providing information, advice, and support for the over 55s, as well as a café open to all members of the community. Open Monday - Friday 9.30am - 3pm (café also open Saturday and Sunday 10am - 2pm); meal deliveries to vulnerable members of the community based in Hythe, Lyminge and Sellindge, 365 days a year; bespoke shopping services for vulnerable members of the community available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

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

MIND South Kent, The Beacon Plus Café at Abercrombie's, Mill Bay, Folkestone, CT20 1JS. Provides coffee, cakes and lunches at low cost, as well as fresh bread sold separately, for all members of the community. Café also runs classes on Coping with Life, and Food and Mood, as well as general wellbeing activities. Open Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am - 3pm.

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 Folkestone Magistrates' 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, Sunflower House, 45 Foord Road, Folkestone CT19 5AE. Provides hot meals and takeaway bags of sandwiches, as well as sleeping bags to street homeless and others in precarious accommodations. Also provides advocacy and practical support. Open Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes.

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, 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.

Touchbase, 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.

Napier Friends, Napier Barracks. Runs a drop-in centre including food parcels. Open Wednesdays.

Hythe Environmental Community Group (https://hytheenvironmental.community/). Runs various projects in and around Hythe, including: community kitchen; gleaning of produce from local farms, distributed to Streetz2Streetz (see below), Folkestone Women's Refuge, KRAN, Action on Homelessness, Home Farm Trust; 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 in Hythe High Street.

Custom Food Labs (https://customfoodlab.org/). A collaboration of local artists, activists, and environmentalists linked to various initiatives, including Locavore and Kent Food Hubs.

Streetz2Streetz (www.streetz2streetz.com). 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.

Incredible Edibles (www.facebook.com/incredibleediblecheriton). 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.

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 has recently launched the district's first community fridge (see below). 

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. Also provides emergency food boxes to any member of the community in need, available 24 hours a day.

The 101 (Open Door) Project, a new drop-in centre run by St Leonard's Church, Hythe, is in development, and due to open in Hythe High Street in the coming months. For further information contact stleonardshythe@gmail.com.

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.


The following supermarkets are signed up to the Neighbourly platform (https://www.neighbourly.com), through which they redistribute surplus food and other products:

Aldi, Dymchurch Road, Hythe, CT21 6HJ. Redistributing unsold food locally through Hythe Salvation Army & Community Centre, Hf Trust Limited, Dymchurch Primary School, Petham Primary School, Palmarsh Primary School, and Fairlawn Short Break Unit. To date, more than 19,500 meals donated.

Lidl, Shellons Street, Folkestone, CT20 1BP. Redistributing unsold food locally through Emmaus Dover, Hythe Bay Children's Centre, Harcourt Primary School, and Castle Hill Community Primary School. To date, more than 3000 meals donated.

Lidl, Haven Drive, Hawkinge, CT18 7RH. Redistributing unsold food locally through Home-Start Dover District, Palmarsh Primary School, Pensioners' Tea Afternoon, Mundella Primary School, Harbour Church. To date, more than 10,000 meals donated.

Sainsbury's, 5 Bouverie Road West, Folkestone, CT20 2SB. Redistributing unsold food locally through Emmaus Dover, and Hythe Bay Children's Centre. To date, more than 50 meals donated.

Sainsbury's, Park Farm Road, Folkestone, CT19 5GA. Redistributing unsold food locally through Hythe Salvation Army & Community Centre. To date, more than 400 meals donated.

Sainsbury's, 19 Military Road, Hythe, CT21 5AS. Redistributing unsold food locally through the Hythe Salvation Army & Community Centre, Hf Trust Limited, and Hythe Bay Children's Centre. To date, more than 1,500 meals have been donated.

Sainsbury's, Dymchurch Road, New Romney, TN28 8GU. Redistributing unsold food locally through Hf Trust Limited. To date, more than 500 meals donated.

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

Other food-related support

Community Fridge (https://www.facebook.com/Folkestonecommunityfridge). Launched by Feeding Folkestone, with the support of environmental charity Hubbub UK, the fridge is at Wood Avenue Library (CT19 6HS). The first in the district, it is open five days a week to enable residents and businesses to share surplus food and for anyone to help themselves to quality food that would otherwise be wasted. 

Monday: 10-1pm and 2-4.30pm

Tuesday: closed

Wednesday: 9.30-1pm

Thursday: 10-1pm and 2-4.30pm

Friday: 10-1pm and 2-4.30pm

Saturday: 10-1pm

Sunday: closed

The fridge is one of a growing number across the UK. The concept first arrived in 2016 with community fridges opening in Swadlincote, Frome and London - there are now more than 50:  www.hubbub.org.uk/communityfridgenetwork

To find out more about Folkestone community fridge, donate or volunteer, email: communityfridge@feedingfolkestone.net

Plastic Free Folkestone (www.facebook.com/PlasticFreeFolkestone). Produces online videos on making use of leftovers and avoiding food waste and heavily packaged ready meals.

Pop-up events and services. From time to time, various pop-up events take place across the district, for example, extra meals provision at Christmas and a "disco soup" event run by Feeding Folkestone. 

If you would like to see the full District Food Network report, please go here: 

Food Resources in Folkestone & Hythe (PDF, 1.1MB)