The largest emergency food agency in Epping Forest is appealing for more donations after seeing demand increase by 50 per cent in the last six months.

The cost-of-living crisis has meant more people are using 3Food4U’s hubs than ever before. Volunteers are continuing to work tirelessly to meet the demand, but the charity is running very low on some essentials.

It needs donations of long life milk; tuna and other tinned fish; tomatoes; cooking sauces; soup; rice; custard; rice pudding; biscuits; cereal; coffee and tea.

Donations can be dropped off at any of 3Food4U’s hubs during opening hours, its charity shop at 28B Sun Street, Waltham Abbey, or Balgores Estate Agents in Loughton or Ongar.

It has been a busy start to 2023 for 3Food4U, which has been continuing to help the community in a number of ways.

The charity opened its new shop in Waltham Abbey offering new and branded items at discounted prices, with all funds raised helping to delivering its vital services.

The shop is open Monday to Saturday, 9.30am to 3.30pm, but is closed Thursday and Sunday.

3Food4U launched its first cooking classes, funded by Active Essex, and is intending to hold more in the summer and autumn.

The charity expanded its Social & Memory Cafes to include chair yoga, also funded by Active Essex, with experienced yoga practitioner Sally delivering four sessions a month throughout the Epping Forest district.

The remaining sessions this month will take place as follows:

  • Thursday, April 13, 2pm to 4pm: Loughton Club, 8 Station Road, Loughton IG10 4NX (then second Thursday of the month)
  • Wednesday, April 19, 10am to 12pm: Parish of High Ongar, St James' Church Hall, Ongar CM5 9EL (then third Wednesday of the month)
  • Friday, April 28, 2.30pm to 4.30pm: Waltham Abbey Baptist Church EN9 1ER (then last Friday of the month).

Call 01992 842642 for further information.

3Food4U is proud to have been chosen by Essex County Council to partner with them and a number of training providers to rollout the national Multiply programme.

The courses are designed to be practical, activity-based and focused on building skills around money, personal finance and building confidence in the use of numbers in everyday life, including supporting children to develop their skills and help with homework.

3Food4U has extended its offer of £20 Tesco vouchers for everyone registering and attending any of the courses.

Contact Colette for further details on 07553 033939 or email

Epping Forest Guardian: The food agency offers free health checks in partnership with PROVIDE

The charity has also built on its partnership with award-winning PROVIDE CIC to offer free NHS health checks and health and wellbeing coaching at its hubs.

Contact health and wellbeing coach Fiona for support or further details on 07552 125972 or email

3Food4U has a fundraising page at

The charity's community surplus hubs are open as follows:

  • Monday: Waltham Abbey - 13 Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Tuesday: Loughton - Loughton Club, 8 Station Road - 11.30am to 1pm
  • Wednesday: Chigwell Row - All Saints Church Hall, Romford Road - 5pm to 6.30pm
  • Thursday: Ongar - Zinc Arts Centre, High Street - 1pm to 2.30pm
  • Friday: Waltham Abbey - 13, Sun Street - 11.30am to 1pm

For further details, visit, email or call 01992 842642.