Covid-19 poverty funding on offer for struggling West Norfolk families
West Norfolk families who are vulnerable due to the coronavirus pandemic are being urged to apply for a new assistant scheme.
The county council has set up a coordinated emergency relief response for people in crisis who are struggling to access the supplies they need.
A £1 million pool of funding was supplied from the government for the Norfolk Assistance Scheme which offers fresh food, meat, fish, gluten-free options and fruit and vegetable in food boxes.
The scheme can also help provide essential household items such as beds.
In order to receive the council’s emergency supplies, you must be a Norfolk resident aged 16 or over and you’ll be asked a set of questions to check if you’re eligible.
The criteria includes those who receive or have applied for an income-related benefit, those with a disability or mental health problem, those fleeing domestic violence and if you have ceased working and are awaiting salary payment through the government scheme.
Those who are eligible can apply online for the Norfolk Assistance Scheme at www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/support-for-living-independently/money-and-benefits/norfolk-assistance-scheme.
Requests for emergency cash or food due to the coronavirus situation should be made via phone on 01603 223392 (option 5).
West Norfolk county councillor Alex Kemp said: “This is a really important message to get out to worried parents in West Norfolk who can’t afford school uniforms for the September term, to people who cannot afford food and essentials, as they have fallen through the gaps for government help, as they are on zero hours contracts or self-employed, or who are on a low income, furloughed or no longer working.
“The scheme can now make a three-day award of food to people applying for Universal Credit, or a seven-day award for people who are furloughed. The award can be repeated.
“As a county councillor, I would encourage people in need to apply as so many in the pandemic have found themselves in severe hardship, through no fault of their own.
"The cost of fresh fruit and vegetables can put them out of reach for people on low incomes. But research shows that increasing fruit and veg intake, by a small amount, can help protect against diabetes and obesity, known risk factors for complications if people contract Covid."