Extra funds approved for Renfrewshire food bank after Universal Credit introduction



Renfrewshire Food Bank will receive £30,000 funding to reduce the impact of Universal Credit after councillors agreed to a new three-year financial assistance plan.

The funding follows the introduction of Universal Credit in Renfrewshire in September 2018.

Research by the Trussell Trust shows demand at food banks has increased by 52% in areas where Universal Credit has been in place for a year.

Renfrewshire Council has provided the food bank with funding in recent years, working flexibly with it to provide extra cash when needed from its Tackling Poverty Fund.

The Tackling Poverty Programme has been at the centre of many projects to help struggling families and households in Renfrewshire since launching in 2015.

The Healthier, Wealthier Children Service, which is funded by the programme, helped 219 families in Renfrewshire boost their household incomes by a total of £300,000 between April and September 2018. The service gives financial, debt and welfare rights advice to new and expectant parents and helps families check what benefits they are entitled to before and after the arrival of their baby.

The Tackling Poverty Initiative’s energy advice service, which provides support to people who need to reduce their energy bills, has also helped 177 households in Renfrewshire save a total of £49,220 since July 2018.

In March 2018 Renfrewshire Council announced £5 million funding for the Tackling Poverty Programme over five years to deliver key projects and activities that will support people and families on low incomes.

Projects within the programme are designed to provide support for families that need it most, remove barriers to participation for children and young people, and support health and wellbeing for young people.



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