Covid grant extention means more support for vulnerable families during half term

The Local Government Association has said that the extension of the coronavirus grant scheme until June could allow councils to provide support for families entitled to free school meals during the May holiday period.

The coronavirus grant scheme provides help with food and bills for vulnerable households has been extended until June, with an extra £40 million available.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said the COVID Winter Grant Scheme would be renamed the Covid Local Support Grant and will now run until June 20, in line with England’s road map which is expected to see lockdown restrictions finally lifted on June 21.

The scheme, which allows English councils to provide support to families and individuals, had originally been due to expire on March 31 but had already been extended to April 16.

Responding to the news, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Resources Board, said: “This further funding will help councils to continue to provide much-needed support to low income households at risk of poverty and financial hardship as the Government continues its gradual easing of the coronavirus measures. Councils will, for example, be able to provide further targeted support to families entitled to free school meals during the May holiday period.
“To ensure that we are able to best address the underlying drivers of disadvantage and break cycles of poverty in the longer term, the LGA is discussing with government and partners how best to enable councils to provide integrated, preventative support to low-income households.”

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