The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on low-income families and children has been astonishing. National reports showed that redundancies, income cuts and rising prices meant 700,000 people fell into poverty as a result of the pandemic, taking the total number of UK people living below the poverty line to more than 15 million – 23 per cent of the population. Out of the 700,000 people newly pushed into poverty in 2020 through the pandemic, an estimated 120,000 of them were children.
Whilst the temporarily increase in Universal Credit payments and Housing Allowance, as well as many furlough schemes protecting jobs have been a lifeline for millions of families since the beginning of lockdown in March. These will be frozen for review in April, leaving many families facing hardship in a difficult position in the months and years that may lie ahead.
In a response to families who may be struggling to cover the costs of basic essentials, including food and child-related costs over the school holidays. Greenoak Community Focus has provided local supermarket vouchers to their residents with dependants during the October, December and February half term breaks, with each family with a young child under the age of 16 receiving £10 per child.
Greenoak have received some really heart-warming feedback from its residents who had been anxious about protecting their children from hardship especially over the Christmas period and shows that the donation has made a significant impact on our residents’ lives.
GCF have also donated £3,000 to the Woking Foodbank who have seen a dramatic increase in their services providing emergency food parcels to households in crisis. Read more about this donation here.