Coronavirus (COVID-19): Apply for the Food Charities Grant Fund

Apply for a grant of up to £100,000 for your charity helping people affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

This guidance was withdrawn on

The Food Charities Grant Fund has now closed.

Applies to England

This grant scheme has now closed due to a high volume of applications.

If you run a front-line food aid charity in England, you can apply for a grant of up to £100,000 to help you continue to provide food to the vulnerable. You can apply for funding as a group of charities to meet the criteria for applications.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will assess applications to the fund in the order they are submitted.

Eligibility to apply

You’re eligible to apply if you:

  • are unable to meet an increased demand for food from vulnerable individuals or supporting charities
  • have the capacity to distribute all of the food purchased under this grant by 9 August 2020
  • are receiving food from the FareShare charity

You can apply for the grant to provide for people:

  • unable to afford food
  • who have moved into temporary accommodation as a result of COVID-19, for example those who have left home due to domestic abuse, newly released prisoners, the newly homeless

This grant is not to provide food for the extremely clinically vulnerable, who are already being supported by government.

Organisation details

You may need to provide your:

  • contact name, phone number and address
  • UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • state aid declaration (if applicable)
  • DUNS number (if applicable)
  • VAT registration number
  • company number or registered charity number
  • geographic area that you cover

You may also need to confirm whether you’re applying for or receiving:

  • other government funding
  • food from FareShare

Evidence to justify the amount you’re asking for

You’ll need to provide details on:

  • your capacity to distribute a minimum of 30% of the weekly average of food (by weight) for each week of the grant period
  • how many beneficiaries have sought support through your organisation on average per week, for the last four months
  • your organisation’s fixed operating costs
  • free reserves held
  • how many months’ operating costs would this cover in the current situation
  • to what extent you need to draw on reserves during the next 6 months
  • income projections, as affected by COVID-19.
  • cash flow projections, as affected by COVID-19

You’ll need to provide details of your current food distribution activities and explain how you plan to use funding from this grant.

Register with the eSourcing portal from 11 May 2020

Follow these steps to register for the eSourcing portal. You’ll only need to register once:

  1. Go to the eSourcing portal and click ‘Register now’.
  2. Read and accept the terms and conditions and click ‘continue’.
  3. Enter your organisation and user details.
  4. Note your chosen username.
  5. Click ‘Save’ when complete.

When you’ve submitted your registration you’ll get an email with your unique password. Keep this secure. If you need help with the registration process, contact Bravo (the hosting company of the eSourcing portal) by phone on 0800 368 4850 or email

How to apply

Once you’ve registered, follow these steps to make your application:

  1. Log in to the eSourcing portal .
  2. Click the ‘ITTs open to all suppliers’ list.
  3. Select ‘Covid-19 Food Charities Grant’.
  4. Click the ‘Express interest’ button. This will move the ITT (Invitation to Apply) into your My ITTs page.
  5. Click ‘Create response’.
  6. Complete the online application form with your organisation details, following the onscreen instructions.
  7. Provide any evidence required.
  8. Click ‘Submit response’ when complete.

What happens after you apply

Defra will consider your application. You’ll get the outcome of your application by email. Defra may ask for more evidence to support your application through the eSourcing portal.

Contact Defra

If you’ve questions about the Food Charities grant Fund or how to apply, you can contact Defra by email

Published 11 May 2020
Last updated 17 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. The scheme has now closed due to a high volume of applications.

  2. Updated the section "Eligibility to apply" to remove references to FareShare.

  3. First published.