Freedom of Information Request

COVID Winter Grant Scheme

Received: 27 April 2021

1. The £170 million COVID Winter Grant Scheme will be made available in early December 2020 to March 31 2021 to support those most in need across England with the cost of food, energy (heating, cooking, lighting), water bills (including sewerage) and other essentials.
2. That scheme has now been extended to 16 April 2021 and funding has been increased by a further £59.1 million.
3. Guidance has been updated to reflect new funding amounts and amended reporting dates. General guidance, including spend frameworks, eligibility and MI completion have remained the same.
4. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will provide funding to county councils and unitary authorities (including metropolitan councils and London boroughs), under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003, who will administer the scheme and provide assistance to vulnerable families with children and other vulnerable households, particularly affected by the pandemic. County councils and unitary authorities in England have a statutory duty for childcare and have the ability to deliver the scheme through a variety of routes including issuing grants to third parties, providing vouchers to households or making direct provision of food, for example. County councils are encouraged to work together with district councils to provide support and ensure the funding meets its objectives. Note: County councils and unitary authorities will be referred to as 'authorities' throughout the remainder of this guidance.

Details of the FOI:

1. How did you distribute the COVID Winter Grant to vulnerable families, i.e. cash, food parcels or retail supermarket vouchers?
2. Did you use this grant to distribute financial support to families of children eligible for Free School Meals?
3. How many children were eligible for Free School Meals and how many children claimed financial support via the grant scheme?
4. Did you use the grant to distribute support to other vulnerable families / individuals and if so, which groups, i.e. homeless etc.?
5. If using supermarket vouchers
(a) which supplier(s) did you use to distribute the vouchers?
(b) how did you choose a supplier?
(c) what were your top 3 mandatory requirements for the service?
(d) did you coordinate the ordering to all beneficiaries/recipients, or was access delegated to schools to administer and order?
(e) did you enter into a direct contract with the supplier or call off via a framework?
(f) when does your contract end?
6. Following Government's extension of the COVID Winter Grant, will you continue to fund Free School Meal vouchers in May half-term and summer holidays?
7. Which role(s) and job functions manage the contract for this service?

Outcome / Documents

  • Response (all information to be supplied) - application/pdf - Download