We're encouraging voluntary and community groups to apply for funding to run Affordable Food Clubs.

The clubs, sometimes called social supermarkets, provide a more sustainable alternative to traditional food banks.

A total of £100,000 is being made available from the Household Support Fund. Each applicant can ask for up to £17,500 to help with the costs of setting up and running a club.

Food clubs sell grocery items at heavily-discounted prices. Typically, someone will pay about £5 for every £20 worth of food and toiletry items.

There may be some criteria that people have to meet to join a club and limits on how often they can use it. Food banks are still available for those who can’t afford to pay the £5.

Councillor Steve Darling, Leader of Torbay Council, said: “The number of people who need help with food in Torbay has grown over the last two years and is higher than ever before.

“People are also relying on food banks for longer than they have done in the past.

“We know that due to the cost of living crisis, people who never previously needed help with food are now requesting it.”

Councillor Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council, said: “Food clubs prevent people from reaching crisis point and help those who have been relying on food parcels to make that step towards greater independence, giving them a sense of control.

“These clubs aim to complement our existing food bank network and support more people across the Bay.”

The funding is open to the voluntary and community sector and social enterprises, including faith groups. Groups must have a constitution and be not-for-profit.

Applicants will need to complete an Expression of Interest form. There is more information on our Affordable Food Club page.

Last month, we announced organisations could apply for funding to run Warm Spaces. Groups can put in joint applications for both Affordable Food Clubs and Warm Spaces. Find out more about Warm Spaces.

For the full range of support available, see our cost of living page.

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