Thousands of families could be eligible to receive a free supermarket voucher to help pay for food this winter.
The voucher is part of the government’s £500 million Household Support Fund which is designed to help those struggling to pay for essential costs, such as food and bills.
Families with little money to pay household bills have been able to claim assistance from their local council since October 2021, but the scheme is due to finish at the end of March this year.
Each council has been awarded a different amount of money depending on its size and need, and it is up to each individual authority to decide how to dish out the funding.
Households will need to check with their local authority to find out what level of support is available in their region.
You can check which council is in charge of your area by entering your postcode into the government’s local council checker tool online.
In North Yorkshire, for example, people eligible for a Household Support Fund e-voucher payment can receive up to £275 to pay for food and other essentials. The e-voucher total was increased from £250 to £275 in January 2022.
In Nottingham, the council website says eligible and successful applications will be sent a £50 e-voucher within three working days via text message.
The link will include an e-gift card with a barcode online which can be presented at the till in a store.
Elsewhere, Derbyshire County Council is offering a maximum of two payments worth £64 per household, plus an extra £20 for each partner and any dependent children, while those living in Ealing could get £75 in supermarket vouchers.
Where can the vouchers be spent?
The supermarket vouchers can be spent at any of the following major stores:
- Aldi- Asda- M&S- Morrisons- Sainsbury’s- Tesco- Waitrose
You apply online, offering up personal details like your name and address, and of course your telephone number - as the vouchers are being sent to families by text in just a matter of days.
How do I apply for a voucher?
The majority of people eligible for a voucher will be automatically identified from council records and will be sent out.
If you are getting means-tested help to pay your council tax bill through the council tax reduction/support scheme by 20 March 2022, and you have a child under the age of 19 living at home with you, you should be contacted about the Household Support Fund.
If you think you may be eligible for the scheme, you can apply for the support via your local council website.
Applications for funding must be submitted before the end of March deadline.