Low-income families will receive supermarket vouchers during the Christmas holidays

Families will once again be able to redeem vouchers in supermarkets

Support will also be available for those who find it difficult to afford heating and water costs in the winter after Staffordshire County Council received £ 5.5million from the Household Support Fund (HSF) of government to help residents in need of financial assistance in the coming months.

Families with children eligible for free school meals will receive £ 15 vouchers for each week of the Christmas, February and Easter holidays, which can be redeemed at Aldi, Asda, Morrisons, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, M&S and Waitrose.

Aid grants for food and essential supplies will also be available for those facing “significant financial hardship,” according to a report to the consultancy firm, while the Winter Warmth project will provide financial support for energy costs. residents who are having trouble paying their bills or dealing with a problem. failure of their heating system.

And Staffordshire district and borough councils will receive a share of the HSF to support households in debt with municipal taxes.

Mark Sutton, a member of the Staffordshire County Council for Children and Youth cabinet, said: “Over the past 12 months we have supported thousands of children – and their families – during the school holidays with either the distribution of electronic vouchers to parents, providing food and activities across the county.

“Now this latest money from the Department of Work and Pensions will help around 29,000 children and the most needy households pay their food, energy and water bills this winter.

“We will be posting soon how people can access this support and I urge anyone who is eligible to apply as all the money must be allocated by the end of March.”

Cabinet members unanimously backed the latest support program in a meeting on Wednesday.

Council chief Alan White said Councilor Sutton led the way with the county’s voucher system last year.

He added: “It cost me dearly in the political sphere from people who thought we were too far ahead of the game.”

Councilor Victoria Wilson said: “I wholeheartedly support this, it’s fantastic for those who need help during the winter months. It is a real lifeline. “

Councilor Simon Tagg said: “I am delighted. I think this is crucial because we have come out of such a big shock with Covid – it has affected the environment, jobs, lives and social cohesion.

“It’s the right thing to do, especially as winter approaches. I welcome the money from the municipal tax debt that will go to the districts, this is often the first indication that people are having financial problems. We can really do a good job with that money in the districts to help people.

“The County Council has a proud record in this area – we are ahead of the game in terms of lunch vouchers. When there was a lot of national hoo ha about it, we would deliver here.

“I am sure we can use this money to really make a difference for the families of Staffordshire.”

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