Families that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and need extra support this winter with food and bills will benefit from a new £170 million scheme unveiled by the Government.
The Covid Winter Grant Scheme will see councils across England share £170 million in additional, ring-fenced funding to help vulnerable families and individuals, with Worcestershire County Council receiving £1,607,260.87.
This will prevent children from going hungry this winter and ensure local families get the help they need. It builds on the £63 million already provided to councils this year to assist those struggling to buy food and essentials.
A further £220 million will be invested in extending the Holiday and Food Programme until next Christmas, meaning that all children eligible for Free School Meals will have the option to join a holiday-time programme that provides healthy food and fun activities during the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays next year.
To support people during this challenging time, the Conservative government has invested more than£200 billion to protect people’s jobs and incomes through the furlough scheme, grants for the self-employed and other support for business and a £9.3 billion injection to strengthen the welfare safety net this year.
Nigel Huddleston, MP for Mid Worcestershire, said: “We can all agree that no child should ever go hungry, and the extra £1.6m for Worcestershire County Council will ensure local families that need extra support with food and bills this winter can access it, which is welcome news.
"The recent debate over school meals was never about whether we provide support to those in need, but the method by which we provide that support, so I’m glad that the councils will be directing this funding to the families who need it most. I’m also pleased that the Prime Minister has announced the extension of the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which provides healthy food and activities for children during the school holidays and has a massive impact on disadvantaged young people in our community, to cover Easter, Summer and Christmas next year. I know it will make a difference to many families in Worcestershire.”
Commenting, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “We want to make sure vulnerable people are cared for throughout this difficult time and, above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter.
“We know this has been a challenging time for many and we have consistently supported the lowest-paid families, protecting 9 million jobs with furlough and boosting welfare support by £9.3 billion.
“This package builds on that support and by extending our successful Holiday Activities and Food programme as well as funding a £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme to ensure families get the help they need.”