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Emergency assistance grant for food and essential supplies

Published: 4 September 2020

More than £800,000 is being allocated to help support people in Derbyshire who are struggling to afford essentials during the coronavirus pandemic.

We have received a £0.808 million Local Authority Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

This money will be allocated to a number of local Derbyshire organisations who work directly with some of the most vulnerable members of the community.

Our Cabinet Member for Communities and Health, Councillor Carol Hart said:

“Funding is geared towards meeting immediate need, to help those struggling to afford food and other essential supplies.

“Funding will take the form of either direct payments to residents or supporting advice and information given to help people in the longer term.”

The Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) – Derbyshire’s existing local welfare assistance offer – has supported residents during COVID-19 with the service seeing a rise in applications of 38%.

The DDF will work closely with other community partners to continue to provide support to Derbyshire residents.

The following grant allocations were agreed today (4 September 2020):

  • £50,000 VCS. county shopping service / buddy system – funding will help to develop a county-wide approach to shopping for vulnerable/shielding residents in the event of a second wave
  • £51,000 Derbyshire Law Centre - funding will support an eviction advice service
  • £40,000 Rural Action Derbyshire - funding will support a school holiday food program
  • £25,000 North East Derbyshire District Council - funding will help support vulnerable populations
  • £5,000 funding will help provide face masks/coverings for those in financial difficulty

These grants are in addition to the following activities that were previously agreed in August:

  • £158,000 towards emergency food parcel distribution, to support individuals who needed to shield or self-isolate during the pandemic
  • £150,000 emergency cash payments via the Derbyshire Discretionary Fund to strengthen support to people in financial difficulty 
  • £20,000 fuel poverty grants in conjunction with DDF/Derbyshire Healthy Homes programme - to support people in fuel poverty as a result of the pandemic

Emergency cash payments to support people in contact with domestic violence support services:

  • £150,000 back to school learning grants -to help remove financial barriers to attending school for families affected by COVID-19
  • £143,000 grant contingency to respond to local outbreaks or other emerging needs not already considered