EMERGENCY funding has been allocated to Warwickshire County Council to support those facing food hardship.
The county council has allocated £520,000 of government funding to help people struggling to afford food and other essentials as a result of the pandemic.
The sum is courtesy of a £63million Covid-19 Emergency Assistance funding pot, distributed to local authorities to help residents finding it hard to feed their families.
It will provide a much needed boost to support currently in place to tackle food poverty such as, the council’s welfare scheme – which provides emergency support for people in crisis – food vouchers, food banks and community-based support.
During the summer, the county council and other regional authorities came together to explore local need and develop plans to address food poverty.
It was decided some funding would be used to top-up the county council’s welfare scheme and the rest would be divided between several food poverty projects.
Community groups were invited to put forward bids for funding to develop local support relating to these areas. In total 21 bids were agreed and almost £400,000 has now been awarded to community cafes, fruit and veg bags, a community kitchen, mobile food banks, expansion of local food banks to provide chilled food and more.
Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe said: “The work done in partnership to allocate this funding was exemplary, and will ensure a broad offer of extra much needed help to people facing hard choices and struggling to afford food. The successful bids showed an understanding of need in communities across Warwickshire and demonstrated real innovation in helping people access food and essential supplies. I’m pleased to see so many projects incorporating community elements in the proposals, giving people the opportunity to connect with others, build networks and play a bigger part in their local area.
“This will be a great addition to support already in place across the county and will offer a lifeline to people by supporting them to feed their families and stay as healthy as possible. The pandemic may require us to distance ourselves from one another, but never before have we been more together, or has community been more important.”
The county council’s covid-19 hotline can be reached on 0800 408 1447, 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and until 4.30pm on Fridays. Weekend support is available between 10am and 1pm for people who need urgent access food and well-being support.
Visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme for more details on the food funding.