A callous thief stole cash members of the public had donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support charity.
Claire Jones, 39, formerly of Hawes Side Lane, Marton, now living on The Promenade, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to stealing £30 belonging to the charity.
She was bailed for pre-sentence reports and will be sentenced at a later date by Blackpool magistrates.
Martine Connah, prosecuting, said Jones and a man were seen dipping under the lid of a bucket containing cash for Macmillan Cancer Support on September 19, which was on the counter of Boots in Piccadilly, Manchester. Imran Majid, defending, said his client was hugely embarrassed about what she had done.
She said she had never stolen from a charity before.
Mr Majid added: “The offence was committed out of desperation. At the time she was homeless and living in a tent. She was hungry and needed money for food.”