The Department for Work and Pensions’ Household Support Fund (Fund) is money given to councils to support residents with the cost of essentials including food. It was first launched on 6 October 2021. It has been extended several times and it’s worth £2 billion over its lifetime. It has become a lifeline for councils to be able to support our most vulnerable residents and for projects in food emergency networks to be able to support people to access healthy food.
More information about how it's used in Herefordshire can be found here- this weekend for example there's a free lunch event at Baron's Cross in Leominster.
Barnardo’s, the Children’s Society, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Independent Food Aid Network, End Furniture Poverty, North-East Child Poverty Commission, Lloyds Bank Foundation and Turn2Us issued the following statement about the fund's need to continue:
“The Fund provides a lifeline for people facing hardship, hunger, and unexpected costs. It enables councils to provide vital crisis support suited to the needs of their communities. As organisations on the frontline we see the impact of this work with the children, families and people we support. The Fund is a vital part of the social safety net that has been crucial during this period of rising destitution.
“In October many of us wrote to the Chancellor urging him to secure the future of the Household Support Fund in the Autumn Statement. We called for a multi-year settlement of funding and a long-term strategy for local crisis support in England. Today we are renewing our calls as a matter of urgency.”
The Sustainable Food Places network (which this alliance is part of - they awarded us the bronze award recently) are also writing about the need for it to continue.