£114,820 to help Worcester families pay for food and get access to accommodation

Worcester City Council has been awarded £114,820 by central government to help support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19.

The Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies allows local authorities in England to use their discretion, to identify and support those most in need within their communities.

"This additional funding will help to support the outstanding work which has already been undertaken by the Worcester Foodbank, Worcester Community Trust and many others since the outset of the pandemic," says Cllr James Stanley, Chair of the City Council's Communities Committee.

"We will continue to work with a range of local partners to ensure that families who are struggling to put food on the table - or are at risk of homelessness - get the help and financial assistance they urgently need."

Worcester City Council will spend the allocated £114,820 in five areas:

Worcester Cares, a partnership which supports homelessness services in the city.The funding will ensure soup kitchens in the city centre can provide at least 70 meals a day, six days a week for four months for homeless and vulnerable people.

Support for an increasing number of applicants to the City Council's Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme which helps vulnerable low income Worcester households in crisis.Following referrals from partners, grants pay for food, energy or essential white goods such as washing machines, fridges and freezers.

Financial assistance to allow households facing homelessness to access accommodation.It will support City Council housing services to remove financial barriers to accessing or sustaining tenancies such as the need to pay landlords a month's deposit up front, or assistance with arrears.

National emergency measures were brought in at the beginning of the COVID lockdown to prevent landlords from evicting tenants.These ended on 30 September 2020 - but the notice period that landlords must now give their tenants has been increased from two to six months.

Support for the Healthy Worcester Grant Fund, which is distributed to local community groups and voluntary organisations, including the Worcester Community Trust.These provide a range of essential services and help local families with pre or primary school aged children to combat food poverty.

  • Funding for The Worcester Foodbank which provides three days' of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis.
  • Part of a nationwide network of foodbanks supported by The Trussell Trust, they are working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK.

Over 90% of the food distributed by the Foodbank is donated by the public, but this support will also allow the organisation to bulk purchase food and essentials items.

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