Islington Council has started to distribute more than £2.2million of financial support to soften the harshest consequences of the cost of living crisis for people most in need, including more than 4,000 households that have missed out on other cost of living support, and tackling holiday hunger among schoolchildren.
The packages of support are the latest in an extensive range of help administered by Islington Council and targeted at the borough’s most vulnerable households, communities and local businesses. The council has broad discretion over how to distribute the money, which is the third tranche of central Government’s Household Support Fund.
More than £1million of the fund will be used to ensure that all Islington schoolchildren eligible for free meals at school do not go hungry during the autumn, Christmas and Easter holidays this academic year. Vouchers will be sent direct to families by schools, and posted to families on low-income benefits with children under school age.
A further £627,000 will be used to support more than 4,100 low-income households who were not eligible for previous cost of living support payments, and £432,000 will help support more than 5,300 of the borough’s least-financially-resilient households. A small percentage will be used to bolster the council’s Resident Support Scheme and help with any exceptional housing costs cases.
Cllr Diarmaid Ward, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Finance, Planning, and Performance, said: “The cost of living crisis is a frightening reality for everyone this winter, but we are determined to keep helping the most vulnerable people in our society to help make Islington a more equal place.
“The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement has put even more pressure on local people and many thousands of families will continue to struggle to put food on the table and pay the bills.
“The crisis has put even greater stresses on the shoulders of our most vulnerable neighbours. Many are struggling with impossible household budgets and simply don’t know how they’ll pay for the winter ahead. We’re determined to do everything we can to help and are using this grant funding to target support where it’s needed most.
“For some people these latest schemes will be a lifeline, and are of course in addition to a raft of help and support that we have put in place, underpinned by strategic oversight from our Cost of Living Board and our fundamental commitment to creating a more equal borough.”