VULNERABLE families in Liverpool are set to receive extra support with food and fuel bills this winter.
Eligible families with children under one, families with youngsters aged two years who are entitled to free early education, and families with children entitled to free school meals will receive three weeks’ worth of £15 supermarket vouchers per child.
It’s estimated that 30,000 children will benefit with 350 care leavers also receiving support.
Food vouchers for children entitled to free school meals will be distributed by schools before the Christmas break. Families with younger children will receive a letter inviting them to visit their local Children and Family Centre in the new year.
Families receiving supermarket vouchers will also receive cashable vouchers to help with fuel bills.
These vouchers will be part of a package of support to help vulnerable people throughout the winter months. The council has been awarded over £6m from the government’s Household Support Fund which will be distributed via the council’s Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme (LCSS).
As well as food and fuel vouchers, funding will also be used to support other families identified by children’s social care, families that need emergency housing support and people in receipt of council tax support and/or housing benefit who have been affected by recent changes in benefits.
Household Support Fund monies must be used primarily to support vulnerable households with food, energy and water bills, but can be committed for related items, and at least half the funding must be used to support families with children. The funding must be spent by the end of next March.
To find out if you are eligible for LCSS funds please visit the council’s website or call Freephone 0800 456 1523 or 0151 233 3053, Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Cllr Frazer Lake, Cabinet Member for Adults and Children’s Social Care, said:
“Making sure our children and young people are fed and that they are fed well is always a priority for us and doing so during winter is doubly important.
“Issuing vouchers means that families can choose their own food from their regular supermarket and be confident of its quality.
“It’s likely to be a tougher winter for all of us with rising fuel costs, so we are also committing to issuing fuel vouchers as well which will also help families.
“I would encourage anyone who is struggling, whether you have children or not, to contact the Liverpool Citizens Support scheme. The team will be able to advise whether you are entitled to any support for basic living expenses.”