Warwickshire County Council continues to support families and individuals experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, poverty during the pandemic.
A total of 14,816 supermarket vouchers were issued ahead of February half term directly to families with children eligible for benefits related free school meals. This follows similar support during the Christmas break and this group will be helped again when schools close for Easter.
The vouchers were distributed via Warwickshire County Council’s Local Welfare Scheme using its allocation of the COVID Winter Grant Scheme from the Government’s Department for Work and Pensions.
This is only part of the offer available from the Local Welfare Scheme which is there for the county’s most vulnerable residents at times of unavoidable crisis when they have no other means of help. The scheme provides financial support and advice for people to meet the costs of food, energy and other essentials.
It also signposts to further support available from other public, community and voluntary services around the county. This includes debt and money management advice, family information and support, and putting people in touch with local emotional health and wellbeing services.
Warwickshire County Councillor Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Heritage & Culture, said: “More people are finding themselves facing hardship as the financial consequences of the pandemic are realised. We are a community that supports each other and our well-established Local Welfare Scheme has been able to help many of these people and the COVID Winter Grant Scheme has enabled us to do even more.
“In distributing Warwickshire’s allocation of the funding we supported families eligible for free school meals by providing supermarket vouchers during the Christmas and February school holidays and will do this again for the Easter break. We are grateful to Warwickshire schools and education settings for helping us to reach all these families proactively.
“We are reaching out to communities to raise awareness of the invaluable support on offer at this time. We strongly encourage people to look online and get in touch with us in confidence, either for themselves or on behalf of someone else, to find out what help is available.
People can contact the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme team on 01926 359182 or 0800 408 1448 or visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme
For information about wider support from the council and other services, go to: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/facinghardship