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£1million fund for Aberdeenshire to support putting meals on tables

By David Porter

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Families unable to access food as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will get support from local authorities with £30 million of new investment from the Scottish Government Food Fund.

The funding 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.

Allocations include more than £1 million for Aberdeenshire and £800,000 for Aberdeen City.

The funding, one part of the £350 million Communities Fund, will be distributed to councils across Scotland by COSLA.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell.
Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “This pandemic is impacting on all our lives but for some it is more than a disruption, it is severely restricting their ability to access food for themselves and their families.

“It is vital that we work together to ensure the most vulnerable people in our communities receive the support they need.

“Local authorities are uniquely placed to respond swiftly in partnership with community groups and organisations to help those struggling.

“We know that free school meals are vital for families across the country and an important way of ensuring their children receive the nutritious food they need.

"That is why it is so important that support continues while schools remain closed.

“This fund will help ensure the most vulnerable people in our society during this outbreak receive support.

"The guidance shared with local authorities supports local thinking about how funding can best be targeted and deployed.”

COSLA Children and Young People spokesperson Stephen McCabe said: “Access to food is a current and vital concern for many people in our communities.

"Councils are committed to working flexibly, ensuring local access for those who are vulnerable or isolating and to maintain access to free school meals for entitled families.

“Local Authorities will continue to work with and for local people to ensure provision that is right for them. We welcome the food fund guidance produced by Scottish Government that supports this local decision making.”

The £350 million Communities Fund was announced by Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell on March 18.

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.

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