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Addressing hardship and holiday hunger

The coronavirus outbreak quickly put a huge financial strain on some people, with work and income changing overnight as a result of the national lockdowns and ongoing restrictions. 

We’ve worked closely with community and voluntary organisations, schools, children’s centres and our district council colleagues to make sure vulnerable families in Devon worst affected by the financial impacts of the pandemic were supported.

This included committing emergency hardship funding for those struggling to pay for basic household essentials such as heating, utilities and food.

We also launched a comprehensive programme to address holiday hunger, with families of over 15,000 children who receive free school meals during term time automatically sent supermarket vouchers to help them buy food during the holidays.

It’s clear that the effects of the pandemic are going to be felt for some time to come, so work is also underway with the Devon Community Foundation, which has close links with foodbanks, community kitchens, holiday clubs, local businesses and charities, to establish food networks across the county together with a sustainable programme of learning and support.