Midlothian Food and Key Essentials Fund

Who is this fund for?

This fund is open to you if you are in severe financial difficulty and can’t afford to buy food and other essentials. This could be because your circumstances have changed or you are on a low or no income. It’s aimed at those in the greatest need and is for people of all ages in Midlothian, whether living alone or in a family setting.

Why has the Food Fund been introduced?

Midlothian Council wants to do more to support local people who are facing severe financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are facing a crisis due to other exceptional circumstances.

How does it work?

The fund works by distributing vouchers for food and other key essentials to those who need help. The scheme works alongside existing food providers in Midlothian, such as food banks.

What help is available?

You can apply for vouchers from £70 to £250, depending on your circumstances. We can accept one application from each household up to a maximum of three applications in total.

If you apply, you will also be offered advice on making your money go further through the call back service operated by the Citizens Advice Bureaux (CAB) and Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network.

Who can apply?

Help is available if you live in Midlothian and:

  • you are aged 16 or over, and
  • you are in severe financial difficulty and can’t afford food or other essentials such as gas and electricity

How do I apply?

You can apply using our online form between 9am and 3pm Monday to Thursday and between 9am and 12noon on Fridays.  Please note that processing your application may take four to five working days.

Apply here for the Food and Key Essentials Fund 

If you have difficulty doing this, or would like help filling in your application, you can also phone our dedicated helpline:

  • 0131 270 8898

How will I get the vouchers?

We will make every effort to deliver the vouchers to you discretely or help you pick them up from a secure local point. Food and fuel (gas and electricity) vouchers may be delivered separately. Please note that voucher deliveries may also be delayed if weather conditions are bad

Where can I use the vouchers?

At first, the fund will provide vouchers for Farmfoods or Scotmid. However, we are expanding the scheme - by increasing the range of vouchers which can be used in local shops for food and other essential items such as personal hygiene and cleaning products. We can also help you cover emergency gas and electricity costs.

It is not possible to use the vouchers for non-essential purchases such as cigarettes or alcohol.

Over time, we will also explore direct payment options.

Concerned about asking for help?

Please don’t be. There are lots of reasons why you may find yourself in difficulty. You might have had a recent change in circumstances, such as: 

  • financial difficulties due to redundancy
  • a change in circumstances due to COVID-19
  • exceptional individual or family changes
  • your income has gone down significantly, making it difficult for you to afford food and key essentials
  • you have experienced a household emergency or disaster
  • you are affected by domestic violence

We understand that you may not have faced difficult circumstances like this before and that you might be reluctant to ask for these vouchers. However, we can assure you that your application, personal details and any other information, will be treated as strictly confidential. Your personal details will also be handled in accordance with the law on data protection. You can read more about this here:

What if my application is turned down?

If you are unhappy with our decision or the way in which it has been made, either email or phone us within 20 days.

More information

To find out more or to get help with your application:

  • please phone our helpline on 0131 270 8898