Leicestershire households facing hardship caused by the cost of living crisis are being invited to apply for help with soaring food and energy bills.
Leicestershire County Council has money available specifically to help people who struggling with rising costs from £3.6 million it has been allocated from the government’s Household Support Fund.
Half of the sum is ringfenced to be spent supporting families with children with rest available to other homes needing support this winter.
The council is again preparing to run 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 February 14.
In all, nearly £250,000 has been made available by the county council to fund February’s school meal vouchers.
Further money is also being available to help those most in need with the costs of electricity and heating bills.
The opportunity to access extra support comes with energy costs set to rocket by hundreds of pounds a year for many households after regulators OfGem recently raised the cap on annual bills.
The county council’s deputy leader councillor 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.
“But there is some support available from the council, via the Government, which we hope will mitigate some of the pain,” she added.
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 on the council’s Household Support fund web pages.
Guidance on support for families who do not have children eligible for free school meals is also available via the link.