Lancashire County Council has outlined how it intends to help households across the county who are most in need this winter.
The council has been allocated £3.9million by the Government to help those who are struggling to afford food as well as household and utility bills.
Based on the Government’s criteria of how the grant should be spent, at least 80 per cent will be used to help families with children and 20 per cent will go to households without children.
It is proposed that help will be given to:
• Families eligible for benefits related free school meals
• Vulnerable families with pre-school children and other vulnerable families
• Looked after children (16 and 17 year olds) in semi-independent provision
• Care leavers
• Vulnerable households
Vouchers will be distributed via schools and colleges for pupils and students who are eligible for free school meals.
Details of how other vouchers will be distributed to other recipients will be made available shortly.
The council will identify which vulnerable households are in most need of support and apply its own discretion when identifying eligibility.
Councillor Geoff Drive CBE, leader of the council, said: “I hope these measures will provide some peace of mind to our most vulnerable families and residents at this really difficult time.
“No-one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter.
“We felt it was really important that it wasn’t only families whose children qualify for free school meals who should benefit from this fund, although it is really important that they have access to help.
“That is why we are also aiming to help families with pre-school children, care leavers, older looked after children and vulnerable households without children, who may be struggling to make ends meet.
“We’ll also be doing a lot of work in the coming weeks to ensure the help goes to those who really need it.
“I would also remind residents that the Government has made a wide range of support available since the pandemic began, and if they do not qualify for this scheme there may be other help they can access.”
For more information visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/your-health-and-wellbeing/covid-winter-grant-scheme