Food and energy vouchers and cash top-ups to be handed to 27,000 of North Northants' most needy households

Those in most dire need of help will be given funds from the £2.9m pot

Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:47 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 4:53 pm
27,000 households in North Northants will benefit from the Household Support Fund
27,000 households in North Northants will benefit from the Household Support Fund

About 10,000 free school meals recipients in North Northamptonshire will be handed £120 in food vouchers this summer to help them keep them well-fed through the holidays.

More than 6,500 people in receipt of pension credits will get a £100 top-up and 2,100 disabled pensioners will get an extra £50.

And 8,000 households suffering the most severe financial hardship will get up to £100 in vouchers to help see them through the cost of living crisis.

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The money is coming from the government’s Household Support Fund and it will be distributed by North Northamptonshire Council.

The Department for Work and pensions will provide £2.47m of the money and NNC will use £406,000 from a pot that was previously unspent. The scheme will cost £73,000 to administer. The first round of HSF saw food and fuel vouchers worth £100,000 distributed across North Northamptonshire last year.

The DWP has stipulated that the money must be used to support those households most in need of financial support during the cost of living crisis. The cash must be split into three – those in receipt of free school meals, those on pension credit and those pensioners who are also severely disabled, as well as households who are in the most serious poverty.

NNC must pay the recipients up-front and then claim the money back from the DWP. All payments must be made by the end of September.

The holiday meals vouchers and pension credit payments will be distributed automatically. The vouchers for those in financial hardship will be handed out using a different scheme that is yet to be finalised.

A decision to push ahead with the scheme was rubber-stamped at this morning’s (Thursday, June 16) NNC executive meeting. Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said: “I am delighted that this iteration of the Household Support Fund gives us the ability to help a wider group of vulnerable residents, including pensioners.

“After the success of the first round of funding of this Government grant scheme – the second round will offer continued support for those struggling to make ends meet.”