17th Jan, 2021

Marcus Rashford's free school meals campaign results in £1.3m Covid grant for Coventry families this winter

Editorial Correspondent 14th Dec, 2020 Updated: 15th Dec, 2020

FREE school meals and warm clothing will be provided for disadvantaged children in Coventry over Christmas and the February half term.

Coventry City council has been awarded £1.3million government as part of the government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme to support the most vulnerable households during the ongoing pandemic.

A working group has been set up to decide how best to run the scheme.

Following a widely backed campaign led by the England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, there is a particular emphasis on children, with free school meals at Christmas and the February half-term –  after the government initially voted against it.

Grants will also be available to support schools with additional warm clothing for pupils because of the need for greater ventilation in classrooms during the pandemic. Additionally, the cash will help families and individuals in need with essentials such as food, energy, water bills and other essential bills such as oven or boiler repairs.

Coun David Welsh, cabinet member for housing and communities said: “Covid has affected all our lives, and a lot of families are struggling financially. This grant money will go to help those who need that extra bit of support this winter.

“It will give them the security of knowing there are warm meals and clothing for their children, and it will help keep people healthy and safe in what we know will, be a difficult winter for so many in our city.

“We are now in the process of identifying the best way to make sure that families and single people who need our help know what’s available.

“We already have excellent partnerships in place with advice agencies, and community organisations are already working with benefits and customer service advisers, so we are well placed to ensure this funding is used effectively.

“We will be announcing details very soon and I would urge anyone who needs some extra help to apply as soon as possible.”

Details on how people can apply are here: www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirus under community support.

The scheme will run until March 31 2021. If you need support, call the council on 08085 834333 where you can receive help with making an application.

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