THOUSANDS of households can get £70 worth of free supermarket vouchers to spend on food and essentials.
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.
They are redeemable at supermarkets this Christmas and all families should receive their voucher by the end of term.
The £70 vouchers will be sent to all households with school children between Reception age and Year 11.
Families with children in early years childcare, who qualified for two-year-old childcare funding or early years pupil premium and were attending a childcare setting on October 7 will also get the voucher.
Households will receive the £70 for each eligible child.
Students aged 16–19 attending City of Portsmouth College, from low-income families, will receive a payment of £70 direct from the college.
The Sun has contacted Portsmouth council to find out which supermarkets will accept the vouchers – we’ll update this story when we hear back.
Other councils including Middlesbrough are also offering a £60 voucher to use during the Christmas holidays as part of the HSF.
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 Portsmouth or Middlesbrough?
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 out 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 will close 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.