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 Hampshire County Council receiving £2,898,701.72.
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.
Commenting, Ranil Jayawardena MP said:
“Securing a better future for you, your family and the next generation is central to my mission in Parliament. It’s important that those who really need support, get it. That’s what this near £3m for Hampshire is about. Rather than just handing out food vouchers based on a list of names, ‘ticking a box’ whether or not they are needed, this will make sure that the families who really need extra support with food and bills this winter can access it.
“And, to target additional support most effectively, I’m pleased that the Prime Minister has announced the extension of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme for disadvantaged children during next year’s Easter, summer and Christmas school holidays.
“There are, of course, different ideas on how to level up and extend opportunity across the country. It’s my view that we should provide a ‘safety net’, whilst helping people to help themselves and their families for the future – and this is proof that the government is delivering.”
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.”