Winter grant scheme approved

Published: 11 December 2020

Food parcels

Food parcels

Derby City Council has approved plans for the £899,498 Winter Support Scheme funding provided by the Government which will help thousands of households with children eligible for free school meals as well as other vulnerable families and individuals.

The scheme will cover households up to Wednesday 31st March using a community partnership delivery model.

Approximately 80% of the funding will be spent on ‘free school meals’ and the provision of food parcels, with the remaining 20% be spent on a new referral system to help vulnerable households & individuals with a contribution towards their energy and water bills.

‘Free School meals’ will be provided, in the form of vouchers distributed by schools, to all eligible children in Derby for two term breaks at Christmas and the half term in late February 2021.

Schools will then also be asked to identify other vulnerable families not eligible for free school meals who will receive food and toiletries parcels through our partner Food 4 Thought Alliance. Funding is in place for around 12,000 parcels over the length of the scheme increasing the capacity from the current level of around 2000.

Unlike in previous years, the winter support payment for energy and water bills will be distributed through our partners the Advice Alliance and will work on a referral system from our approved referrers, rather than through applications. It is estimated that support will cover approx. 30% of the average energy and water costs for four months.

Councillor Evonne Williams, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said:

I’m delighted that everyone involved has worked so quickly to pull this plan together so we can provide some reassurance and security to vulnerable families over the winter.

The thought of children going hungry is terrible at any time, but especially over the Christmas break and we are committed that this will not happen.

I believe the plans we have put in place with our fantastic partners are the right ones to support vulnerable families over the coming months.

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