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Kent County Council helps 31,000 needy families this Christmas with food aid

Tuesday 22nd December 2020

Kent County Council has issued more than 31,000 food vouchers to needy families ahead of Christmas.

KCC set up a scheme last month to provide food vouchers to the families of children who are eligible to receive free school meals as part of a wider range of measures to help the lowest income households.

Leader of KCC, Roger Gough said: “Christmas should be a time for celebration, but it can also put additional financial pressures on families and this is likely to be felt even more strongly this year due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We launched this scheme to support some of our most vulnerable families and I am delighted we have been able to provide more than 31,000 food vouchers to help ease some of those pressures at the end of a tough year.

“I would like to thank head teachers and their staff who worked quickly to provide KCC with details of their eligible pupils so we could issue vouchers to their families.

"School staff have done a fantastic job of educating and supporting Kent’s children and young people in extremely challenging circumstances during the pandemic and now they have helped us to support some of our most vulnerable residents at what is a difficult time of year for many. I would also like to thank the council staff whose combined efforts made this scheme possible."

About 30% of Kent schools opted to run their own schemes to provide food vouchers to eligible families and parents/carers will have received details about these from the school.

The food voucher scheme was funded from KCC’s £4.5m share of the Government’s £170m Covid Winter Grant Scheme, which aims to help Local Authorities support children, families, and their most vulnerable residents over the winter.

Families received one £15 voucher per eligible child per week of the two-week December holiday, which can be spent online or instore at Asda or instore at Tesco.

These are the UK’s two largest supermarket chains that have the biggest distribution of stores across Kent. 

KCC plans to launch a similar scheme to provide food vouchers for eligible families during the February half-term break and details will be available in the New Year. A similar scheme saw more than 20,000 vouchers given to families during the October half-term holiday.