Additional funding from Government has been provided to councils allowing families struggling to afford food and essentials over the Christmas period to access support.
The Covid Winter Grant Scheme will see councils across England share a total of £170 million in additional, ring-fenced funding to help vulnerable families and individuals, with Hillingdon Council receiving a total of £831,315.79. This funding builds on the £63 million already provided to councils this year to assist those struggling to buy food and essentials.
To support people during this challenging time, the Conservative government has invested more than £280 billion to protect people’s jobs and incomes through the furlough scheme, grants for the self-employed and other support for business and a £7.4 billion injection to strengthen the welfare safety net this year.
Commenting, Boris said: “Throughout the pandemic, the Government has stood squarely behind those families who may need extra support. This £170 million commitment builds on the £63 million already given to councils earlier this year and will ensure families get the help they need"
The grants are focused on helping families buy essentials, with at least 80% of funds ring-fenced to be spent on food, energy and water bills, with 20% available for other associated essential costs. Councils can also offer support to vulnerable individuals and households without children.
This is all part of the Government’s long-term plan to tackle poor health, hunger and education. In addition to the Covid Winter Grant Scheme, from Easter 2021 the Holiday Activities and Food Fund will be expanded with £220m of funding to cover the major school holidays that year. This will help disadvantaged children get healthy food and take part in fun and enriching activities.
Healthy Start scheme payments are also set to increase from £3.10 to £4.25 a week from next April, and the Government has pledged additional funding of £16m for the food distribution charity FareShare.