Southampton City Council has received £900,000 to ensure vulnerable households do not go hungry or without essential items.
As part of the Government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme grant announced earlier in November, the funding is designed to directly help families and individuals who have been hardest-hit by the pandemic, with the majority set aside to ensure children do not go hungry during the winter months.
The funding will run until March 2021, with the largest part (at least 80%) allocated to support those families with children and will go towards food vouchers for the two-week Christmas break, February Half Term and the Easter holidays. Southampton City Council will be working with education settings and community partners to support vulnerable families and households to help get the support they need:
- Schools will be able to support families in receipt of Free School Meals or for those having trouble accessing food, with vouchers during the holiday periods until Easter
- Additional food boxes will be prepared by City Catering Southampton for vulnerable families referred by schools
- In addition, support with costs associated with utilities will be available to professionals working with vulnerable households. Southampton City Council will be partnering with SCRATCH, the Environment Centre and community partners to facilitate this.
Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care said: “The last 10 months has been a difficult time for residents in the city. Support has come in many forms and the collaborative working across agencies, within mutual aid, places of worship, businesses, education settings and with volunteers is a true testament to the city’s determination to help those most in need. This funding from Government means we can help to make sure that no child in Southampton will go hungry over the holidays and we can provide people with the help they need, when they need it.
Families who may be facing financial difficulties this Christmas are encouraged to speak to their early years or childcare provider, school or college. Or, residents can contact the COVID-19 helpline 023 8083 480, open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm or via this online form.
The COVID resident helpline will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Monday 28 December and New Year’s day.
For out more information about the COVID Winter Grant Fund