Council gets fund to help feed vulnerable kids over Easter holiday

Ministers have announced that Doncaster Council will receive a six-figure sum to help ‘vulnerable children stay warm and fed’ over Easter.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th March 2021, 11:26 am
Bags of food for vulnerable children during school holidays

The Covid Winter Grant Scheme, which was introduced in response to the current pandemic, primarily focuses on food and essential utility bills for low-income families and is distributed through local authorities.

DMBC bosses will receive around £420,000 the funding is based on population and levels of deprivation.

The scheme will run until April 16 and 80 per cent of grant funding is ring-fenced to be spent on food, energy and water bills, with 20 per cent available for other associated essential costs.

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Under pressure from opposition MPs, the Government announced a further £50m to the Covid Winter Grant Scheme will cover the two-week Easter period. Doncaster and 14 other Yorkshire & Humber councils will share just over £6.5 million.

Councils can also offer support to vulnerable individuals and households without children.

The latest funding comes on the back of a previous £1.2 million grant the council received before Christmas tackling the same issues.

Previous funding was welcomed by Doncaster Labour councillor Tosh McDonald but said ‘10 years of austerity and the lack of action on tax evasion’ had ‘created the initial problem’ along with those excluded from Covid-19 help.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Thérèse Coffey said: “This scheme has helped thousands of vulnerable children stay warm and well-fed during the coldest months of the year.

“While circumstances remain difficult, it is right that we extend it to cover Easter, and I want any worried parent to know there is help at hand.”

In addition to the extended Covid Winter Grant Scheme, the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme has been expanded to cover the major school holidays in 2021 – starting this Easter.

The HAF provides councils with grants they can use to arrange childcare provision, providing support to families on lower incomes over the holidays.

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