Renfrewshire Foodbank has been granted a fund of £30,000 in order to reduce the impact of Universal Credit.
The funding gives money for the foodbank over a three-year period. The proposal was agreed at a meeting of the Council Leadership Board on December 5.
Universal Credit is replacing six other benefits, including Housing Benefits and Job Seekers Allowance, and works as a single monthly payment.
Councillor John Shaw, Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Finance, Resources and Customer Services said: “The introduction of Universal Credit by the UK Government in other areas has put a lot of additional pressure on food banks with more demand from those in need.
“This funding will help Renfrewshire Foodbank cope with any increased demand that may come, allowing it to continue supporting anyone in Renfrewshire that needs its help.”
Research conducted by the Trussell Trust shows that there has been a 52% increase in demand at food banks where the new system has been in place in areas for 12 months.
The Tackling Poverty Programme has played a central role in many projects, helping families that are struggling since its launch in 2015.
The Tackling Poverty Programme also has an energy advice service that provides advice and support for people who are in need, working to reduce their energy bills. So far, they have helped a total of 177 households in Renfrewshire, saving a total of £49,220 since July.
The Healthier, Wealthier Children Service, who are funded by The Tackling Poverty Programme, helped 219 families in Renfrewshire to boost their household incomes by a total of £300,000, between April and September this year. They also give financial, debt and welfare rights advice to both new and expectant parents. They help families to check and see what benefits they are entitled to before and after the arrival of their baby.
Projects that are associated with the programme are set up to provide support for families that need it the most, and remove barriers to participation for both children and young people and support their health and wellbeing.
In March this year Renfrewshire council announced a £5 million funding for The Tackling Poverty Programme over a five-year period. The aim is to deliver key projects and activities that support both people and families with low incomes.
Councillor John Shaw said: “The work that the Tackling Poverty Programme is doing is making a real difference to the lives of families in Renfrewshire who are struggling to make end meets.
“The additional funding will ensure that these crucial services can help families in need in Renfrewshire for years to come.”