Sheffield families struggling with cost of food and bills can benefit from new £2m Government scheme

Sheffield families struggling with the cost of food and bills will be given a helping hand this summer, thanks to a £2 million grant from the government.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:31 pm

The government’s covid local support grant, first introduced in December 2020, has been extended through to September bringing it in line with the end date for furlough and other Covid-related support.

The funding is ring-fenced to ensure that 80 per cent is used to support families with bills for food, key utilities and other essentials.

Around 24,000 children in Sheffield are currently eligible for Free School Meals, according to a food poverty report by Sheffield Council’s overview and scrutiny management committee, released in March 2021.

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Demand for food banks increased by more than 92 per cent in just two months, between April 13 and June 8 2020, with issues such as insecure work, zero hours contracts, job losses due to Covid, problems with Universal Credit, debt and access to cheaper supermarkets thought to be contributing factors.

Will Quince, minister for welfare delivery, said: “This grant is ensuring that thousands of families get help with food and essential utility bills as we move back towards normality.

“The new funding extends this lifeline to those most in need in the coming months as we continue to help families back on their feet, including supporting people back into work through our multi-billion pound plan for jobs.”