FOOD vouchers are now a part of the help available for Gosport and Fareham residents struggling to cope with the soaring cost of living
The dockets, provided by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund, are available across Hampshire throughout August and September. They are being distributed to people in need via the county’s 11 district and borough councils.
Households eligible for Local Council Tax Support are entitled to a one-off £30 voucher, while a one-off £65 voucher will be made available to pensioners in receipt of Local Council Tax Support and Pension Credit or Guaranteed Credit. Those who are eligible for a voucher will be contacted directly by their local council.
Councillor Roz Chadd, Hampshire County Council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “At a time when there is increasing financial pressure on household finances, I’m pleased that the government has enabled us to extend how we use our Household Support Funding to help more people facing hardship, including pensioners as well as families with children.
“We have all seen a significant rise in the costs of groceries and other essentials in recent months. Together with the supportive measures already in place, I hope these vouchers will provide those in need with welcome additional financial help.”
In total, the county council has allocated more than £3 million to food vouchers which will be issued by district and borough councils throughout August and September.
As well as food vouchers, the local authority has also made £365,000 available for Community Grants to support other projects helping vulnerable families and pensioners with their food and energy bills.
Other measures include community pantries, utility vouchers and emergency housing support.
There are currently more than 20 pantries across Hampshire, all providing weekly access to a range of fresh, frozen and general food at a lower cost than at the supermarket. Residents can search for their local pantry on the connect4communities website.
Vouchers for gas, electricity and water services are available via Citizens Advice, whilst help with housing costs is available in exceptional circumstances and is being organised through Hampshire’s District and Borough Councils.