The COVID Winter Support Scheme is designed to help households deal with the financial challenges of winter and seeks to help thousands of households with children eligible for free school meals as well as other vulnerable families and individuals. The Royal Borough will support vulnerable families to make their financial resources go further by providing additional, targeted support for food from 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021.
To support families during the school holidays, those who receive free school meals due to low income, rather than the universal infant free school meals provision, will receive a code which can be converted into a £30 voucher per child for a food retailer of their choice. Families will be automatically enrolled into the scheme by their school during the first two weeks of December, and the local authority will do the same for pre-school age children who qualify for low income support for childcare. Please check with your child’s school or nursery setting if you are not currently receiving free school meal support and think you might be eligible.
Further vouchers will be made available in the 2021 February half term (£15 per child) and for the Easter holiday at the end of March 2021 (£20 per child) through the same mechanism. In addition, the council is providing additional resources to a number of local voluntary and community groups to support their efforts to get more support to other vulnerable families.
A list of the organisations we are working with as part of this project who may be able to provide help and support, can be found here.
If you are struggling to provide food for your family you need to make sure that you are claiming all of the benefits you are entitled to, so please check out this list of benefit support you might be able to access. If you are still unsure about where to turn, you can contact the COVID community helpline by calling 01628 683820 or 0203 5148117.