Aylesbury MP welcomes almost £1 million to support vulnerable children and families in Buckinghamshire
Families in Buckinghamshire that have been hardest hit by the Coronavirus pandemic and who 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 Buckinghamshire Council receiving £967,503.82 in additional, ring-fenced funding to help vulnerable families and individuals.
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 nationwide 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.
Rob Butler, MP for Aylesbury, said: “No child should ever go hungry, and the extra £967,000 from the Government for Buckinghamshire Council will ensure that local families across the Aylesbury constituency get extra support with food and bills this winter, which is very welcome news.
"It’s absolutely right that it’s local councils that identify the people most in need – building on Buckinghamshire Council’s Helping Hands scheme which ran during halfterm. This makes far more sense than asking schools to provide meals in holidays, and is much better than simply supplying vouchers as the Labour Party wanted to do.
“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.
“Investing in children’s future is central to the Conservative Party’s mission to level up and extend opportunity across the country, and with this additional support we can prevent the hunger we know is so damaging to a child’s life chances.
"To support people during this challenging time, the Conservative government has invested more than £200 billion to protect people’s jobs and incomes through the furlough scheme, grants for the self-employed and other support for business and a £9.3 billion injection to strengthen the welfare safety net this year.”
The Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey MP said: “We want to make sure vulnerable people are cared for throughout this difficult time and, above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter.
“We know this has been a challenging time for many and we have consistently supported the lowest-paid families, protecting 9 million jobs with furlough and boosting welfare support by £9.3 billion.
“This package builds on that support and by extending our successful Holiday Activities and Food programme as well as funding a £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme to ensure families get the help they need.”