Cumbria County Council’s cabinet has approved £2m worth of additional funding in response to the cost-of-living crisis to support individuals and families experiencing financial difficultly.

The new Cost of Living Reserve fund will be used to support four different initiatives:

  • £0.5m will be used to boost the council’s Ways to Welfare budget which is used to issue grants and other support to people in need. If you’re in need of urgent financial support, call the county council’s Support Helpline on 0800 783 1966 (Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm).
  • £0.5m will be used to increase school clothing grants from £25 to £50 for primary school children, and from £35 to £100 for secondary school children this year. Any parents who are eligible for free school meals because of their financial situation are automatically eligible for the school clothing grants. To find out more about eligibility and how to apply, visit the county council website.
  • £0.5m will also be used to extend free school meal provision to eligible children during the summer holidays.
  • £0.5m will be used for Direct Community Support – to further support people in urgent need. This will partly be achieved by bulk purchasing food to fill a shortfall in food bank donations, as the cost-of-living crisis hits more and more people who would have been able previously to buy extras during their weekly shop to support food banks.

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