South Scotland MSP Joan McAlpine has welcomed news that Dumfries and Galloway council has been allocated £890,000 to help families unable to access food due to the coronavirus.
The cash is from a £30 million Scottish Government Food Fund which is being shared across Scotland to support those struggling. The SNP MSP stressed that anyone experiencing difficulties accessing food at this time should contact the council on 030 33 33 3000 for further information on the help and support available to them.
The Food Fund, which is one part of the £350 million Communities Fund will support those most in need including families with children who are eligible for free school meals, older people, those with long-term health conditions and pregnant women.
Councils will have flexibility to use this additional resource in ways that best meet emerging local needs and circumstances, working with community groups and businesses to support home delivery, provide financial help and meet dietary requirements.
Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:
“Coronavirus has brought enormous disruption to all of our lives, and some people will be concerned about accessing food.
“This investment will help those in Dumfries and Galloway at most risk, such as older people and children eligible for free school meals, to access food through this unprecedented crisis.
“Free school meals are vital for families across Dumfries and Galloway and are an important way of ensuring children receive the nutritious food they need. That is why it is so important that support continues while schools remain closed.
“This is just one part of the support the Scottish Government is providing to individuals and businesses to protect jobs and incomes.”
The £350 million Communities Fund was announced by Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell on 18 March 2020.
Since it was announced, over £100 million of new support has been delivered to local authorities to assist their efforts. This includes £50 million in hardship funding, £22 million to bolster the Scottish Welfare Fund and £30 million from the Food Fund.
The guidance shared with local authorities outlines seven key principles to support local thinking about how funding can best be targeted and deployed.
People worried about food during the COVID-19 crisis should contact their local authority for further information on the help and support available to them.
Funding by local authority:
Argyll & Bute
Dumfries & Galloway
Edinburgh, City of
Perth & Kinross