The council will be contacting eligible households to distribute more than £800,000 to help pay for food, energy bills and housing costs through the winter. Lambeth Council is also putting £1.7million into providing support to households with children in receipt of free school meals over the Christmas break, February half term and Easter Holiday funded by the same government grant.
In Lambeth 41,000 residents have been impacted by the reduction of £20 per week in Universal Credit cut, of which 15,000 are out of work. 21,000 households in the borough are known to already be in fuel poverty, a situation made more acute by rising prices.
Cllr Andy Wilson, Lambeth’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “The £20 per week in Universal Credit cut, rising prices and the impact of Covid-19 on households is having a stark impact with rising numbers of people needing to rely on foodbanks to get by. This comes at a time when household bills are also going up and there is job insecurity as a result of the pandemic.
“In the face of these very real challenges we are working hard to put in extra support where we are able to. We have designed a winter support package to help families through what are going to be the very tough months ahead.
“With the available funding there is a limit to what we can spend, which is why we are targeting our work to support those most in need and working with our community partners to make sure these efforts work to support those who need it the most.”
To support the work additional support is being provided to the borough’s existing surplus food distribution scheme (operated by Healthy Living Platform out of Brixton Rec) and to the Trussell Trust foodbanks in the borough to ensure they are able to meet demand over the winter period. The Trussell Trust operate four foodbanks in Lambeth, distributing food parcels to our most vulnerable residents.
Lambeth Council is also running a Winter of Food and Fun programme at more than 45 locations across the borough during the upcoming school holidays. More than 2,000 young people are expected to participate in the sessions which feature various activities during the day and a hot lunch for all participants.
To find out more visit Lambeth’s Winter of Food and Fun.