Warwickshire County Council has now allocated the majority of the county’s share of Government funding to help people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Warwickshire has been allocated just over £520,000 of the £63m Covid-19 Emergency Assistance funding distributed to local authorities in England to help residents who are finding it hard to feed their families.
This financial award will enable the council to further support communities who have been affected by Covid-19.
The council was given discretion over how the funding was used with conditions that it had to be used only for the provision of food and essential items, and that those in most need would be prioritised.
It was decided that some funding would be used to top-up Warwickshire County Council’s local welfare scheme and the rest would be divided between a number of areas including; specific food projects, food for the homeless, food banks and supporting infrastructure.
Warwickshire community groups were invited to put forward bids for funding to develop local support relating to these areas. In total 21 bids that met the criteria for support were agreed and almost £400,000 has now been awarded. Allocation of the remaining funds will be made in due course.
The funding will support community cafes, the provision of fruit and veg bags, a community kitchen, mobile food banks, expansion of local food banks to provide chilled food and more.
Leader of Warwickshire County Council, 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 successful projects will be promoted to people in local areas and more details will be made available as the projects develop. In the meantime Warwickshire County Council’s Covid-19 hotline on 0800 408 1447 is open 9am to 5pm Monday-Thursday, 9am to 4.30pm on Fridays and 10am to 1pm over the weekend for people who need urgent help to access food and well-being support during these difficult times.
Warwickshire County Council’s Local Welfare Scheme is accessible via the hotline, or online at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/localwelfarescheme and can also assist people in crisis by offering short term support to manage the needs of their households. To get support from the scheme people need to be a UK resident, aged 16 or over, and have no other financial means to access food or fuel. Anyone facing serious hardship is invited to get in touch to find out more.
For more information about council services and support during the pandemic, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.