Thousands of hard-up households across Stockport are to get help with their food and utility bills this Christmas.
The council has announced a package of financial support that will help the families of 7,500 children who qualify for free-school meals.
Each household will receive a £30 voucher per eligible child to help with the costs of food, utilities and other essentials this winter.
A second payment will follow in the New Year.
Eligible families do not need to apply as the council is working with schools and colleges to identify which families need support, and will issue vouchers directly.
Stockport council has been alloacted more than £865,000 from the government’s Covid Winter Grant Scheme fund.
And town hall bosses say this is just the start of the authority’s support for families on low incomes over the winter period.
Over the coming weeks the authority will be working with business, schools and voluntary organisations to ensure other vulnerable families are able to get help at Christmas and in the New Year.
Deputy coucil leader Tom McGee said: “Funding secured from central Government has enabled us to offer this vital support to families and we want to help as many households as possible.
“We know that many of our generous businesses and residents will want to play their part in addition to what we are doing.
“The community response through Covid-19 has been amazing. Our communities have come together as One Stockport to support those most affected by the pandemic.”
Coun McGee is also encouraging people to support Stockport County’s ‘Food for Christmas’ campaign, which has already raised more than £150,000.
Together with money allocated by the government, it brings the total amount to almost £1m.
“This is just one of the ways people can help those who may be in need this Christmas,” said Coun McGee.
The football club has been working with with Stockport’s voluntary, community and social enterprise support agency, Sector 3.
Stockport County owner Mark Stott added: “We are delighted to be working in partnership to support our community and we are asking that people can give what they can, to ensure no child goes hungry this Christmas.”
Help and support can be found on the council’s website here.
Alternatively, residents can call the council’s welfare line on 0161 217 6046.
Anyone who can offer support to Stockport County’s campaign can do so by donating via the club’s website here.