Almost £1.5million to help struggling families in Central Bedfordshire - including extending supermarket voucher scheme

Food items are pictured loaded into a shopping trolley (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)Food items are pictured loaded into a shopping trolley (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Food items are pictured loaded into a shopping trolley (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
The scheme will now run until September

Almost £1.5million of government funding will help support struggling families in Central Bedfordshire.

A supermarket voucher scheme – which was due to end in March – has now been extended for a further six months. The vouchers have been provided to every child eligible for free school meals in Central Bedfordshire to help with food costs. Over the Easter holidays families received a £35 voucher and in total 7,969 vouchers were distributed, worth £278,915.

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Support for these families will now continue over the May half term and the summer holidays.

And the council has also agreed that as well as children entitled to free school meals, care leavers are also entitled to support. Those eligible will be contacted directly by the council.

Meanwhile, the council has also allocated around £150,000 to third sector organisations, enabling them to distribute food and offer vouchers to offset utility and wider essential support to eligible households.

Councillor Hayley Whitaker, deputy leader of Central Bedfordshire Council and executive member for families, education and children, said: “We welcome the government’s decision to extend the Household Support Fund for a further six months, as it will allow us to continue to support households across the area. Not only are we able to support families and care leavers with food costs, but we made the decision to allocate further funding to third sector organisations to ensure they can continue offering support.

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“With the last round of funding from the Household Support Fund, we allocated funding to 13 voluntary organisations who were able to support over 12,000 households across Central Bedfordshire. Previously our partners have used this funding to provide hot food parcels for families over the winter, and to provide grants to support unpaid carers who support a family member, friend, or neighbour with care needs and supermarket vouchers. We are really pleased to be able to be able to allocate more funding to these valuable organisations so they can continue their support over the next six months.”

Visit the council’s website for more information about the Household Support Fund and the organisations that will be receiving funding.

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