A programme to support people struggling to feed their families and pay their bills has reopened across the borough.
Swale Borough Council has received more than £500,000 from Kent County Council’s (KCC) Household Support Fund to help households access food boxes, get vouchers to pay their electric, gas and water bills, and buy items needed to keep warm until March 2024.
The money is being used to support organisations within the local community who have been on the ground helping people navigate the cost-of-living crisis.
Swale Food Bank, Children and Families in Sheerness, Faversham Food Bank and Sittingbourne's Diversity House will all be providing emergency food parcels.
West Faversham Community Association will be providing meals to the young people visiting their youth hub and Age UK will be delivering hot meals and shopping to pensioners.
The council’s fuel and water home advisor and Citizens Advice Swale will be providing Fuel Bank Foundation fuel vouchers to people with pre-paid meters as well as advice and support. Children and Families will be providing Mastercard vouchers for people with billed utility accounts.
Cllr Richard Palmer, chair of the community committee at Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: “We were able to support almost 6,000 local households with the previous round of funding over winter. Unfortunately, just because the weather has improved it doesn’t mean people are finding it any easier to make ends meet. We’ll be continuing to work with our partners in the voluntary and community sector who have been doing a tremendous job of reaching those who need the help most.”
Cllr Elliott Jayes, vice chair of the community committee at the council, told SFM News: “The local organisations have done an amazing job reaching out to find and support people who are struggling with the cost of living. We can’t thank them enough for the work they’re doing, and we’re lucky to be working with such committed and hardworking partners. We’re committed to continuing the great work that has already taken place and supporting those most in need.”
To find out how to access the support available, visit www.swale.gov.uk/hsf.