New scheme to help people access food and essentials during COVID
Plymouth City Council is launching a new scheme to ensure that people who are struggling to afford food and other essentials because of the impact of COVID-19 are able to access them.
The Council has received almost £343,180 from the Government’s Emergency Assistance Grant for Food and Essential Supplies to help those most in need due to ongoing financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.
The continuing impact of COVID-19 will mean that increasing numbers of people are expected to find themselves in financial difficulty and may have periods when they have no food. Unemployment and the number of benefit claimants is set to double by the end of the year and it is estimated that many more people will be requesting support from food aid organisations by the end of the year.
A grant scheme is now launched to help smaller and grassroots food organisations, as well as organisations that are able to reach particularly vulnerable groups of people, and organisations that are developing self-help approaches to food. Organisations can apply for the grant funding to add to their existing capacity such as through additional opening hours and geographic coverage. Up to £10,000 is available per organisation. Information and a link to the online application form is at:
The applications close at 5pm on Thursday 15th October.
Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Co-operative Development, said: “Caring for Plymouth and the Plymouth Good Neighbours Scheme have supported a huge number of people during the pandemic, particularly during the early response phase and through lockdown. However, the impact of COVID-19 will be long-lasting and we expect many more people to find themselves in financial difficulty as the crisis continues, particularly if we see a large local outbreak or are faced with further lockdown measures.
“We need to do all we can, with our partners, to ensure those who urgently need food and essentials can get them. These grants are awarded as part of a wider programme that also helps people to access advice and support on money matters, learning and employment opportunities and other sources of financial support. This scheme will bring all key partners together to ensure the city can continue to respond to residents’ most basic needs as the challenges of COVID-19 continue.”