Food banks in Derbyshire – like the initiative at Ilkeston’s Arena church – are being invited to apply for a share of more than £100,000 to help people buy food.
The county council is making the cash available to the Derbyshire’s 14 food banks as winter approaches to tackle the rising cost of living.
“Many of the most vulnerable people in our communities are living on the verge of crisis because of the scale of national cuts,” said Derbyshire county council’s cabinet member for health and communities Cllr Dave Allen.
“This winter many families and older people will be faced with the appalling decision of whether to heat or eat.
“That’s why we are providing extra funds to help food banks offer emergency support wherever it’s needed.”
As well as providing grant funding the council has also made premises available as collection points for food donations.
The rising cost of living combined with low incomes, high unemployment and changes to benefits are causing more and more people to come to food banks for help.
Between 2012 and 2013 food banks fed 346,992 people nationwide. Of those helped, 126,889 were children.
The 14 food banks in Derbyshire provide a minimum of three days emergency food and support to people experiencing crisis.
These centres are mainly run by volunteers and most of the food is donated by local people although local supermarkets often chip in.
To receive a food parcel, people usually need to be referred from children’s centres, GPs, advice agencies, schools, probation service or police.