Help with food and fuel

If you need assistance with getting food, fuel or essential household items, such as clothes or white goods for yourself or your family, we can help.

Free school meals

For details of free school meals provision visit our Free school meals page. 

Holiday vouchers for families with children in receipt of free school meals

Families with children in receipt of free school meals will receive a supermarket voucher for each child during the school holidays, up to and including Summer 2022. This is being funded by the government’s Household Support Fund.

The scheme enables families to be able to purchase food over the holidays to replace the meals a child would have received during a school day. The voucher provides a great choice to families as they can be used in:

  • Sainsbury's
  • Tesco
  • Asda
  • Morrison's
  • Iceland
  • The Company Shop Group
  • Waitrose
  • McColls
  • M&S

If you have already registered your child and they are entitled to free school meals in Solihull, you will automatically receive your voucher and therefore do not need to contact us.

Holiday Activities and Food (HAF)

Those families who are in receipt of benefit-related free school meals are also eligible to book school aged children, from Reception to Year 11, into HAF funded activities. Activities are free to access and include enjoyable activities and a healthy meal. They will run during Easter, summer, and Christmas school holidays. To find out about the activities available in Solihull please visit our HAF page.

Household Support Fund

Solihull Council is responsible for the administration of the Household Support Fund and is continuing to use the funding to proactively provide support to families and pensioners who are experiencing financial hardship.

Discretionary Crisis Fund

Call Solihull Connect on 0121 704 8001, for information and advice on how to access local community support, food or financial assistance. Solihull Connect can also refer and connect families to local food networks, as well as our Discretionary Crisis Fund (DCF).

The DCF can provide financial and fuel assistance to any household experiencing severe financial hardship. This includes access to food, fuel top-ups and, if needed, essential white goods.

Help with energy and fuel for your family

In response to the challenges which continue to cause difficulties for many families, Solihull Council is extending its support. There is help available via Age UK Solihull’s Winter Warmth campaign and Act On Energy.

The Winter Warmth campaign, in partnership with Age UK Solihull, provides emergency funding related to keeping warm such as emergency heaters, electric blankets, emergency heaters.

Age UK Solihull Winter Warmth Campaign

Support is available for Solihull households in the form of advice, tips and practical for households, which might be struggling to pay bills and to stay warm during the winter. Grants are also available for:

  • Essential food, toiletries and sanitary products
  • Winter clothes
  • Essential household appliances such as a fridge, freezer, cooker, microwave or bed
  • Items to keep the household warm in winter such as heaters, quilts and blankets
  • Heating repairs or servicing
  • Monetary support to reduce fuel and water debt

For further information please visit the website or telephone 0121 704 8080, which is open Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Act on Energy

Act on Energy are here to support households and can be contacted on 0800 988 2881 or by emailing advice@actonenergy.org.uk.

We can:

  • Offer advice on and access to local funds such as the Household Support Fund for the payment of energy bills and debt
  • Help customers check if the price cap will affect them
  • Advise you about how to address energy debt and how to work with your supplier if you are struggling
  • Make referrals for income maximisation
  • Provide energy saving tips to reducing household energy use
  • Provide long term energy efficiency advice and referrals for energy efficiency measures in your home

Support with Food

Solihull Council’s call centre can help connect you to local community and neighbourhood support or refer you to a local food bank - just call 0121 704 8001.

You can also call the Community Advice Hubs for Information, Advice and Support on 0121 709 7590.

Some food banks which usually only accept referrals are now allowing people to contact them direct because of COVID 19. To help them observe social distancing they would like people to phone or email rather than visit. Food banks can provide food directly in an emergency, although they cannot cater to personal taste.

The food banks that operate in Solihull are listed below:

Helping Hands

Helping Hands is an emergency food parcel service who can deliver food to those in crisis. The delivery times are anytime between 9.00am to 5.00pm. They run as a referral only food bank, please call Solihull Connect on 0121 704 8001 for a referral.

Essentials Delivery Food Bank

No referral or proof required. Food parcels can be requested online or on the phone. Currently collection only. Must pre-book food parcel.

  • Phone lines open from 9.00am to 2.00pm
  • Food Parcel collection from 12.00pm to 1.00pm

Kingfisher Food Bank 

  • Address: Auckland Hall, Smiths Wood B36 9JR
  • Open: Tuesdays and Fridays from 12.30pm to 2.30pm

(Trialling an extra foodbank session at Auckland Hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm to help employed people who are struggling financially and cannot attend the earlier sessions due to working hours. This may be withdrawn if there is not enough uptake.)

Vouchers can be obtained through school support workers and agencies e.g.:

  • Citizens Advice Citizens Advice on 0808 2082 138
  • Birmingham Settlement on 0121 250 0765 or 0121 250 0777
  • Job Centre at Chelmsley Wood

    There is also a Social Supermarket in Solihull which supports members. Our Social Supermarket details are as follows:

  • Address: Around Again Social Supermarket, Junction, 100 Chapelhouse Road, Fordbridge, Solihull, B37 5HA
  • Open: Tuesdays and Thursday from 10:00am to 1:00pm
  • Website: www.colebridge.org
  • Telephone: 0121 448 0720 
  • Email:enquiries@colebridge.org

Referrals should be made via support organisations such as schools, Solihull Council, Solihull Community Housing or Solihull Community Advice Hub (Please note that we can only accept referrals for North Solihull residents).

We also accept donations - if you would like to donate see the ‘Volunteering Safely’ section.

If an older person is experiencing any issues accessing food and needs support please contact Age UK Solihull on 0121 704 7840 or info@ageuksolihull.org.uk.

Solihull Green Homes Warm Home

Our trusted Energy Partner ‘Act on Energy’ offer free advice on reducing fuel bills and using less energy. Act on Energy can also support you to access schemes that can help you heat your home. Contact the advice line: 0800 988 2881.

If you have an income of less than £30k per year and live in a home which doesn’t keep the heat, you could be eligible for a range of free upgrades to your property. Available measures include: loft insulation, wall insulation, solar panels and heat pumps. Up to £10,000 per property is available. To find out more please visit: Solihull Green Homes Grant.