County council chiefs say low income families in Lichfield and Burntwood will be supported over the Christmas period.

Vouchers worth £15 a week are being distributed by Staffordshire County Council to help feed children who would normally receive free school meals.

Cllr Mark Sutton

Cllr Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for children and young people, said:

“Through no fault of their own, a lot of families are finding it hard going at the moment and while Christmas is a time of celebration and togetherness, we know it can bring additional pressures.

“We want to help those in need ensure that children can get a decent daily meal and that other vulnerable groups are supported.”

Cllr Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council

The county council said 80% of the £2.2million of funding from the Department of Work and Pensions’ COVID-19 Winter Grant Scheme would be used towards helping families with children.

For school-aged pupils the scheme will be administered through their schools, while th county council’s family hubs have already begun contacting families of children not in schools.

Those eligible include:

  • pupils entitled to free school meals
  • low-income families with pre-schoolers
  • recent care leavers
  • college students aged 16-18 from low-income families
  • home educated children from low income families

As well as children and young people, anyone who has recently been made redundant or is on 80% of their usual income due to COVID-19 may also be eligible and can claim here.

The county council is working with local authorities to identify vulnerable adults who may also need support.

“We are committed in Staffordshire to doing all we can to help our residents and we know our efforts at October half term made a difference to people’s lives.

“We received messages from parents that it made a real difference to them, allowing them to cook a family meal whereas otherwise they wouldn’t.

“By expanding the scheme we calculate up to 27,000 children and young people will have a merrier Christmas this year and a happier 2021.”

Cllr Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council