Families in Harborough facing hardship as the cost of living soars are being invited to apply for help with rising food and energy bills.
Leicestershire County Council is making money available to help people struggling to make ends meet.
The local authority has been handed £3.6 million allocated from the Government’s Household Support Fund.
Half of the sum is ringfenced to be spent supporting families with children with the rest available to other homes needing support this winter.
The council is again running a school meal voucher scheme for some 14,000 eligible county children so their parents and carers can buy £15 worth of food for the week-long half term break that starts on Monday February 14.
Altogether almost £250,000 has been made available by the county council to fund February’s school meal vouchers.
The half term food voucher initiative in Leicestershire follows similar programmes of support in the October half-term and over the Christmas holidays which saw £750,000 committed to feeding children in need.
Further money is also being made available to help those most in need with the costs of electricity and heating bills.
The council is acting as energy costs are to rocket by hundreds of pounds a year for many households after regulators OfGem raised the cap on annual bills.
The county council’s deputy leader, Cllr Deborah Taylor, said: “Many families are facing a cost of living crisis and need help with the essentials.
“That’s why this council is once again stepping up to the plate providing assistance to hard-pressed families most in need, in the form of vouchers for free school meals and help with heating.
“Food is more expensive, energy is frighteningly costly and yes, people will face higher council tax bills from April so vital public services for the most vulnerable people can be afforded,” said Cllr Taylor.
“But there is some support available from the council, via the Government, which we hope will mitigate some of the pain.”
Struggling eligible households can also apply for food vouchers worth £40 per adult and £30 per child with single households potentially being able to access £50 vouchers.
Fuel vouchers are also available – worth £49 to family households and £28 for people who live alone.
More information is available here: https://www.leicestershire.gov.uk/adult-social-care-and-health/assessment-and-eligibility-for-care-and-support/household-support-fundGuidance