The Coalfields Food Insecurity Response Fund

Due to an unprecedented number of applications, the Trust has now fully allocated the initial investment of £100,000 towards the Coalfields Food Insecurity Response Fund and has temporarily closed for applications.

The Coalfields Food Insecurity Response Fund is a new fund to tackle food poverty. We have seen a significant rise over recent years in the coalfields of the number of projects providing food to those who cannot afford it. The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated this problem with more people being referred to food banks, and tens of thousands of children skipping meals due to family income being too low.

The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation dedicated to supporting the UK’s former coal mining communities, has joined forces with Company Shop to award fast track funds to projects responding to these growing challenges. Company Shop is the UK’s largest commercial redistributor of food and household products, and sells surplus food and household items from well-known retailers and brands at hugely discounted prices.

Projects can apply for up to £2,500 and if successful, will be granted a Company Shop membership to maximise their purchasing power. The discounts offered means for every £10 spent, a project will typically get £30 in goods (if they purchased these goods directly from the retailer). So for a £2,500 award a project could receive goods up to the value of £7,500.

Due to exceptional demand from former mining communities, the Trust has decided to increase our contribution to the fund from £50,000 to £100,000.

Company Shop will continue to value match any applications that deliver food provision for families and children. If your project supports these groups and is awarded £2,500 by us, Company Shop will commit an additional £2,500 to give you a project value of £5,000. This generous offer will help us to create a fund value of up to £200,000.

The locations of Company Shop stores in England are as follows:

  • Wentworth (Barnsley)
  • Middleton (Greater Manchester)
  • St Helens (North West)
  • Washington (Tyne and Wear)
  • Longeaton (Derbyshire)
  • Corby (Northamptonshire)
  • Grimsby (North East Lincolnshire)

We anticipate a high demand for this funding. To ensure your best chance of success please make sure you read through all of the information before applying. Priority will be given to organisations that are supporting the most vulnerable.

Grants are awarded to projects in the top 30% most deprived former coalfield areas:

Guidance on which wards are eligible for funding is downloadable below.

•   North West
•   North East
•   East Midlands
•   West Midlands
•   Yorkshire

Examples of the type of services we would like to support are as follows (please note this list is not exhaustive):

•  Food banks
•  Food parcels schemes
•  Meal delivery services (such as lunch packs and meals)

Closing Date

This is a rolling application process, with no application deadline. The programme will close when all of our funds have been allocated. Please apply early to avoid disappointment

Applications are now closed

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I apply for this fund if I am already in receipt of CRT funding?

    Organisations/ groups who have received CRT funding to purchase food in the past 12 months aren’t eligible to apply for this fund. However if your funded project did not include the purchase of food then you are still eligible to apply.


  • What about geographical eligibility for those organisations where staff are working from home to deliver services?

    State either your organisation’s address or a new delivery location’s postcode where you are now delivering services from.  Speak to the team if unsure as we need to ensure the majority of our beneficiaries are from former coalfield communities.


  • What happens if an organisation is overdrawn or in a poor financial position due to the current situation?

    Our eligibility criteria is stated in our Guidance Notes which provides a clear directive on organisations in a poor financial situation.


  • Will I receive a grant?

    No, awardees will not receive funding directly. Instead you will receive e-vouchers and/or a credit with Company Shop to the value you have applied for.



  • Can I purchase my food from a different supplier?

    No, this fund is available through a partnership with Company Shop and the e-vouchers/credit are only valid with them.



  • How will I receive the food?

    All project awardees will receive a Company Shop membership to shop at the hub most convenient to them.

    If a project requires bulk purchasing, Company Shop will provide weekly stock lists on request and arrange delivery for orders over £500 to the project address.

  • Where is my nearest Company Shop?

    Whilst bulk orders over £500 will be eligible for delivery, you will need to visit your local Company Shop store to purchase your food.

    For a list of their local stores please visit: 



  • Can I charge for the food?

    Food purchased through this award cannot be sold on at a cost, unless the food is ingredients used to prepare a meal which can then be charged for.


  • When will I find out if I have been successful?

    Applicants will be informed of a decision on their application within 7 days of submission via the contact details you have supplied. All decisions made will be final.


  • What is the timescale to spend?

    We anticipate an immediate start for awards made. Projects must deliver for a minimum of 2 months and we envisage a typical project lasting 6 months.


To help to address local needs during this difficult time we are still offering grants of up to £10,000 for wider project costs through our Coalfields COVID-19 Recovery & Resilience Fund. We also continue to offer our free Practical Support for organisations in coalfield areas.

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