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Help for struggling families continues in February half term

07 February 2024

The supermarket voucher scheme will operate in the upcoming half term holiday for all eligible families in Cambridgeshire.

Cambridgeshire County Council is continuing to run the scheme in the February half term using the Household Support Fund from the Department for Work and Pensions, with additional funding provided by the council.

Government funding is due to end in March, but the county council is proposing to invest £3m to continue the supermarket voucher scheme for those most in need. A final decision on this will be made when the full council meets on 13 February.

In the meantime, eligible families will automatically be sent a £15 voucher via email or text on Saturday 17 February. The voucher can be used at a choice of 11 supermarkets. All vouchers must be claimed by 15 March.

The voucher scheme has been a huge success since it was introduced and appreciated keenly by families struggling in the current financial climate.

A survey revealed that over 70 per cent of families said the vouchers had helped them cope with the rising cost of living. More than 50 per cent said the scheme had reduced the need for them to seek other sources of support in the school holidays such as food banks.

Over 46 per cent of those responding to the survey said the vouchers had helped them buy healthier food such as fruit and vegetables for their families.

In addition to the holiday voucher scheme, there is further support available in response to the cost of living, which can be found here.

Councillor Bryony Goodliffe, Chair of the county council’s Children and Young People’s committee said: “We know how vital these vouchers are to families struggling in the present financial climate. Helping them buy healthy food and reduce their reliance on food banks is proof that the scheme is not only valued but also essential. Although this is the final round of vouchers in the current financial year, I am hoping that the council will agree to continue funding the scheme when it meets on 13 February to decide next year’s budget.”