THOUSANDS of households can get free food parcels this Christmas to help with soaring costs.
The help is being dished out under the new round of £421million funding given by the government to the Household Support Fund.
Councils have been given a slice of the new funding on offer, which will be given out to struggling households to help them with the rising cost of bills and food.
Birmingham City Council is set to give out thousands of free food parcels to parents whose children qualify for free school meals.
Over 1,900 parcels are being handed out to vulnerable households.
They are said to have enough in them to feed a family of four for four days.
We have contacted Birmingham City Council to ask what will be included in the boxes and will update this story when we hear back.
The food parcels are being provided through the Holiday Activities and Food programme, organised by the council.
Parents should have received a code from their child’s school before the end of term to register for the parcel.
The boxes have begun to be delivered to eligible households over the last week according to the council.
Hundreds of events and activities are also available over the Christmas period to keep kids busy.
The support will target children who qualify for free school meals.
Other councils are also offering vouchers to support households during the holidays.
Make sure to keep an eye on your council’s website for updates about the scheme.
Can I get help if I don’t live in Birmingham?
Yes – you can still get help under the Household Support Fund.
What support you can get will vary, because each council is in charge of how to spend the funding available.
Some decide to dish the help out automatically, while you’ll need to apply in other cases.
Some councils choose to distribute funding in the form of vouchers, while others give out cash payments.
To get more information on what support is available, and how to get it, you’ll need to contact your local council.
You can find yours using the gov.uk council checker tool.
What can I get?
Councils decide how to distribute their funding.
But in the last round of funding, you could get up to £500 in free cash support from some councils – like Bromsgrove and Redditch.
Residents of Effingham, near Guildford, could get up to £300 free cash to help them through the cost of living crisis.
Bradford council is also issuing a £65 payment to some residents this winter.
What other help can I get to pay for food this Christmas?
The Healthy Start scheme offers prepaid food cards to women who are more than 10 weeks pregnant or women or men who have children under four.
Most local councils run their own welfare assistance schemes for households on low incomes or who are dealing with a crisis.
Grants can sometimes be worth up to £1,000.
Free school meals are on offer during term time and they will also be available to some families over the festive period.
Term times vary across the country, but most schools in England closed for the Christmas holidays on December 19 before returning on January 3, 2023.
Parents whose children qualify for free school meals can claim up to £40 per child, but this will vary depending on where you live.
The help given to each family depends on the local authority.
We’ve rounded up five ways you can get free cash to pay for food this Christmas.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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