Coronavirus (COVID-19): Free food boxes to be provided to those facing financial hardship during Covid-19 crisis
Local authorities across the country have received a share of the Government’s Hardship Fund to support communities through the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
We recognise that measures to protect public health due to COVID-19 will be causing real pressures and anxiety when it comes to finances.
The Hardship Fund will primarily support those in receipt of Local Council Tax Support schemes by reducing their council tax liability for 2020/2021.
But local authorities were also given discretion to use the funding to provide additional support to those in need.
South Somerset District Council has earmarked a portion of the grant we have received to provide a Hardship Food Box scheme to those who are in urgent need but are not on the shielded list as designated by the NHS.
You could be eligible for the Hardship Food Box Scheme if:
- You are not on the shielded list but have no one to help you access food and are in financial difficulties
- You are isolated, rurally and or socially, and have an immediate need
- You have become unemployed due to the COVID-19 crisis have claimed Universal Credit and are waiting for a decision and payment
- You are self-employed but facing financial hardship as you are unable to work due to Government restrictions
- You have been furloughed and are only receiving 80% of wages with no employer top-up
- You have made an application for free school meals and are waiting for them to start
The Hardship Food Box will contain food, drink and other vital supplies. Boxes are being topped up with generous donations from local and national suppliers and most recently family boxes have benefitted from Easter eggs, donated by Crofton stores in Yeovil. These are eggs could not be used by the Friends of Yeovil Country Park at the planned spring trail in Yeovil Country Park.
If you believe you may qualify for the Hardship Food Box, please contact South Somerset District Council on 01935 462462.
The food boxes are being prepared as part of South Somerset District Council’s Wellbeing Hub which has been set up to supply food parcels and other supplies to South Somerset residents in most urgent need. The Hub is already up and running and deliveries have already been made to residents who are shielding or who fit the criteria where they are recognised as vulnerable.
Many SSDC staff were redeployed to work around the clock to get the Wellbeing Hub in place. The project has been led by managers from our Commercial Services team who have worked alongside staff member from across the organisation and partners including Yeovil Town Council, supermarkets (including Tesco and Co-op), Somerset Waste Partnership and many other suppliers who have offered help and donations of which we are so grateful. Staff from our closed venues at Westlands and the Ninesprings Café have also been redeployed to support the hub.
Daily breakfast packs and hot meals are also being distributed for vulnerable people in the district who may be homeless or rough sleeping, many of whom have been given emergency accommodation by the council during the COVID period. Food and personal protective equipment has been generously donated by a number of local suppliers including Oscar Mayer, Glastonbury Festivals and others.