Families that have been hardest hit by the pandemic and need extra support this winter with food and bills will benefit from a new £170 million scheme unveiled by the Government.

The Covid Winter Grant Scheme will see councils across England share £170 million in additional, ring-fenced funding to help vulnerable families and individuals, with Worcestershire County Council receiving £1,607,260.87.

This will prevent children from going hungry this winter and ensure local families get the help they need. It builds on the £63 million already provided to councils this year to assist those struggling to buy food and essentials.

A further £220 million will be invested in extending the Holiday and Food Programme until next Christmas, meaning that all children eligible for Free School Meals will have the option to join a holiday-time programme that provides healthy food and fun activities during the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays next year.

Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, said:

“No child should ever go hungry, and the extra £1.6 million for Worcestershire will ensure families in Redditch that need extra support with food and bills this winter can access it, which is very welcome news.

“As I said before, we have already been supporting the most vulnerable families and children in Redditch. Support Redditch received £22,000, REST received £10,000, Redditch Foodbank was given £45,000 and Act on Energy £11,806 from the previous £63 million fund announced by the Government. This was funding was used to support children over the half-term. I saw the work at Support Redditch first-hand and got to thank the trustees for all that they’re doing to support our town’s most vulnerable.

“I’m also pleased that the Prime Minister has announced the extension of the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which provides healthy food and activities for children during the school holidays and has a massive impact on disadvantaged young people in our community, to cover Easter, Summer and Christmas next year.”