Rotherham Council commits £312k to new cost of living crisis pot

Cllr David SheppardCllr David Sheppard
Cllr David Sheppard
A FUND of £312,000 has been allocated by councillors to help people relying on foodbanks in the next three years.

The cost of living crisis has seen demand for handouts has treble since 2020, cabinet members heard on Monday (20).

The new £104,000-a-year pot will mostly provide interest-free crisis loans of up to £120, with the rest supporting foodbanks.

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Cllr David Sheppard, cabinet member for social inclusion said: “It is shocking that in the 21st century people are having to rely on food banks and other means to try and support themselves and their families.

“We have set aside this money from our budget as we want to ensure we are helping those that need our help most.

“The cost of living continues to be high, whether this is food or fuel costs. But because money coming into households has not increased to match inflation rates, this means some people are having to make the heart-breaking choice between heating and eating.

“No family or individual should be in this position in this day and age, and so we will endeavour to reduce this burden on our residents where we can. The decision today means we can continue to offer our interest free loans, with the aim of ensuring people have their basic needs met.”

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A report to cabinet said that in March 2020 demand for crisis food and other support significantly increased as the country entered the first Covid lockdown.

It saw almost 20,000 food parcels being issued in 2020/21 – a 342 per cent increase on the previous year.

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