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Covid winter grant scheme welcomed by MP

MP Ian Liddell-Grainger has welcomed the announcement of a new financial package to ease families through the winter months.

The £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme for England will see funding made available to support families with the cost of food and utilities over Christmas until Easter.

The Department of Work and Pensions is to release the money to local authorities early next month. But there will be no constraints on how it is allocated, meaning it can be delivered in the form of cash, vouchers, food, or funding through third party organisations.

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey said: “The fund will not only make sure that no child goes hungry over Christmas, but also that a variety of different locally-identified needs are catered for.”

The Government is also extending and pumping another £220 million into the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has supported around 50,000 children across 17 local authorities this summer and which will now ensure provision for Easter, summer and Christmas in 2021.

Mr Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said: “This is a generous package and I am delighted ministers have recognised and responded to the need for it.

“Local authorities are already in possession of the necessary criteria for deciding which families will qualify for help from the fund. But if there are any families who feel their circumstances make them potential candidates as well I would urge them to contact my office.”

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