£850,000 Covid support package for households in need
- Credit: Archant
Low-income households and vulnerable people in Islington are set to benefit from a winter support package of more than £850,000, including additional support for families with children under five.
The government has awarded Islington Council £877,270 from its Covid Winter Grant Scheme.
The winter support funding will help the council fund free school meal vouchers for pupils eligible for free school meals under the national criteria, to cover the Christmas holiday period and the first half-term holiday of 2021.
It will also help pay for the We Are Islington helpline and food distribution efforts.
Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council's executive member for community development, said: “Food insecurity and worries about heating and other utility bills are a reality for many families in Islington, and the Covid-19 pandemic has only made it worse, dragging more households into poverty and uncertainty this year.
“We are determined to create a fairer Islington and that means doing everything in our power to ensure no one has to choose between heating or eating this winter, and everyone can access the support they need.
“Following our calls for greater support from central government, I welcome this extra funding, which will mean the support schemes we already have in place will be able to help even more of the most vulnerable people in our society.”
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Through its schools network, the council has provided supermarket vouchers to households with children eligible for free school meals - mirroring its actions over the October half-term, backing footballer Marcus Rashford’s successful campaign to get the government to commit to feeding children over the holidays.
From the new year, the council will be providing food vouchers to families of children under five, not yet attending school who receive council tax support or housing benefit.
It is also funding voluntary and community sector partners to continue their work to provide food and wider support to vulnerable families.
The We Are Islington helpline is available to support residents who need help - from a friendly chat to practical assistance.
- The We Are Islington helpline is on 020 7527 8222 or Minicom on 020 7527 1900. Lines are open every day from 9am to 5pm. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.