FAMILIES across the city who have been hit hardest by the pandemic will be the target of a £114,820 Government cash boost for Worcester City Council.
Guildhall bosses have been handed the six-figure sum to help support people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials due to COVID-19.
The Local Authority Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies allows local authorities in England to identify and support those most in need within their communities.
Part of the cash will go to Worcester Cares, a partnership which supports homelessness services in the city.
The funding will ensure soup kitchens in the city centre can provide at least 70 meals a day, six days a week for four months for homeless and vulnerable people.
A share of the money will support the increasing number of applicants to the City Council’s Discretionary Welfare Assistance Scheme which helps vulnerable low-income Worcester households in crisis.
Following referrals from partners, grants pay for food, energy or essential white goods such as washing machines, fridges and freezers.
Financial assistance to allow households facing homelessness to access accommodation will also continue.
The cash will enable City Council housing services to remove financial barriers to renting a property such as the need to pay landlords a month’s deposit up front, or assistance with arrears.
Money will also be allocated to the Healthy Worcester Grant Fund, which is distributed to local community groups and voluntary organisations, including the Worcester Community Trust.
These provide a range of essential services and help local families with pre or primary school aged children to combat food poverty.
Worcester Foodbank bosses will also be backed with cash to help them continue to provide three days’ of nutritionally balanced emergency food and support to local people who are referred to them in crisis.
While more than 90 per cent of the food distributed by the foodbank is donated by the public, the cash will also allow the organisation to bulk purchase food and essentials items.
“This additional funding will help to support the outstanding work which has already been undertaken by the Worcester Foodbank, Worcester Community Trust and many others since the outset of the pandemic,” said Coun James Stanley, chair of the City Council’s Communities Committee.
“We will continue to work with a range of local partners to ensure that families who are struggling to put food on the table – or are at risk of homelessness – get the help and financial assistance they urgently need.”