More than 11,000 vouchers have been distributed so far, funded from Cheshire East’s share of the government’s £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme launched in December last year. Cheshire East Council will be distributing the food and energy vouchers to vulnerable children and families ahead of the February half term.
Cheshire East Council was allocated over £880,000 for the purpose. This in addition to the £330,000 they received in "Food and Essential Supplies Funding" provided over the summer of 2020.
The fund, which ends on March 31, aims to support families most in need with the cost of food, energy, water bills and other essentials and families in need are now also able to receive refurbished white goods such as cookers, fridges, washing machines and microwaves.
More than 9,000 vulnerable children and young people have been identified by Cheshire East, including those eligible for income-related free school meals. These families received their first batch of vouchers in mid-December to cover the Christmas school holidays. The vouchers are part of the on-going Government programme to provide vulnerable children and their families with vouchers for vital supermarket and utility bills.
The Vouchers are accessed through the children’s schools, children’s services and early year’s providers where staff have worked with CEC to ensure those who need this support can accesss it.
The grant is designed to cover the period until the end of March and by utilising additional monies through the Government’s holiday and activities and food programme, CEC is preparing to support these families through the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays
Any families in need are asked to speak to someone they are in touch with, with such as a GP, teacher or support worker, who can request the vouchers on their behalf.