In addition we have extended the food voucher scheme to families of pre-school children, aged 2 to 4 years, who are suffering financial hardship and also young people leaving local authority care.
The funding will help to provide food and other household essentials to 26,000 Derbyshire children during the Christmas holidays.
We have received almost £2.2m from the government’s COVID Winter Grant Scheme to support vulnerable families with food and fuel costs over the winter months.
The electronic food vouchers – which will be sent to parents for each eligible child by email or text message from 15 December – are part of a raft of measures to support local people most in need during the ongoing pandemic.
In addition to the food vouchers, around £180,000 of the grant will be allocated to help households and individuals who find themselves in financial crisis over the winter.
The funding is over and above the money we already provide to support food banks and other schemes that work to alleviate poverty in local communities.
Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Young People, Councillor Alex Dale said:
“Winter can be hard and there’s no doubt this year will be even more difficult than usual for many people.
“We very much welcome this extra government money which will help to ease the pressure on families who are the most in need this Christmas.
“We’ve made it as simple as possible for families to receive their food vouchers by sending them direct to the mobile phone numbers or email addresses eligible parents have already supplied to their child’s school, or to the council during an application for free child care.
“This means the vast majority of families will receive their vouchers automatically from us in time for Christmas.
Councillor Dale added that if people don’t have children who are eligible for food vouchers but are struggling financially, he would urge them to visit our website where we’ve pulled together a list of the many places people can get help.
The second part of the government’s grant will help to fund food vouchers for the February half term although the exact amount each child receives will depend on the number of eligible families at that time.
Read full details of the criteria for food vouchers and information about how they will be sent out