THOUSANDS of households can get £500 worth of free supermarket vouchers to spend on food and essentials.
The help is being dished out under the new round of £421million funding given by the government to the Household Support Fund.
Councils have been given a slice of the new funding on offer, which will be given out to struggling households to help them with the rising cost of bills and food.
The scheme was first established last year, extended for the second time in the March budget and for a third time in November to help those on the lowest incomes with the rising cost of living.
Each council gets a different portion of funding depending on the size of the catchment area, population, and need.
The vouchers or grants on offer vary by location so you'll have to check to see what you can get and how your council will pay you.
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You'll usually need to be on a low income to receive the help.
Kingston council is giving out up to £500 of vouchers to spend at supermarkets to help hard-up families.
You can find the application form on its website.
The council has said on Twitter that households can get up to £500 to be used for food, household appliances, clothing.
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You can email [email protected] for more options and what you could be entitled to.
Including that you receive benefits when you apply might help to show you have insufficient funds, however, earning benefits is not a necessity for acceptance.
Do note that if you're a family receiving other grants too, you may still be eligible. Especially if you:
- have additional wider needs in terms of food and utilities
- require other essential supplies
- include individual family members that are not in receipt of support
The latest round of vouchers is likely to be sent out to hundreds of households, according to the council.
Since the scheme started in October last year, it said that thousands of people have benefitted.
Other councils including Plymouth are also offering a £500 voucher as part of the HSF.
Make sure to keep an eye on your council's website for updates about the scheme.
Can I get help if I don't live in Kingston?
Yes – you can still get help under the Household Support Fund.
What support you can get will vary, because each council is in charge of how to spend the funding available.
Some decide to dish the help out automatically, while you'll need to apply in other cases.
Some councils choose to distribute funding in the form of vouchers, while others give out cash payments.
To get more information on what support is available, and how to get it, you'll need to contact your local council.
You can find yours using the gov.uk council checker tool.
What can I get?
Councils decide how to distribute their funding.
But in the last round of funding, you could get up to £250 in free cash support from some councils – like Rother in Sussex.
For example, thousands of residents in Luton are due electronic vouchers to help pay for food and other household essentials.
North Yorkshire council is giving out £325 help for struggling households.
Check your local council to see what its offering.
How can I save on my supermarket shop?
There are plenty of other ways to save on your supermarket shop.
You can try looking out for yellow or red stickers on products which show when they've been reduced.
If the food is fresh you'll have to eat it fast, or freeze it to have another time.
Sometimes even timing your shop to stock up just as items are discounted on the shelves can help you get the best bargains – lots of shoppers have said this is in the evening typically.
Making a list could save you some money too as you'll be less likely to make any rash purchases when you get to the supermarket.
Going own brand can be one easy way to save hundreds of pounds a year on your food bills too.
That means going for "own" or "value" type products instead of "finest" or "luxury" lines.
Plenty of supermarkets run wonky veg and fruit schemes as well where you can get cheap prices if they're misshapen or imperfect.
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For example, Lidl runs its Waste Not scheme offering boxes of 5kg of fruit and vegetables for just £1.50.
Parents can get up to £442 in Healthy Start vouchers that they can use at the supermarket, on food and more for their children, for example.
Do you have a money problem that needs sorting? Get in touch by emailing [email protected]
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