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Kirklees residents urged not to go hungry during Covid-19 crisis

People are being urged to look after their mental well-being by seeking help to avoid food poverty during the Covid-19 crisis

People living in Kirklees are being urged to seek help if they are at risk of going hungry during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a concerted attempt to stop residents falling into food poverty – and to prevent damage to their mental and physical well-being – Kirklees Council is pointing people towards the wide range of support available.

And that could mean accessing some of the services provided by volunteer groups, which have sprung up across the borough since the health emergency began.

The council accepts that Covid-19 is having a major impact on many people’s income, with financial uncertainty and hardship making it tougher to afford basic necessities such as food.

Thus it is striving to tackle food poverty so that its 439,000 residents, including children and young people, stay safe and well during the ongoing crisis.

Council leader Clr Shabir Pandor, who is leading the local response to the pandemic, said the authority was continuing to help thousands of residents access support, but many more people had yet to come forward.

He urged: “My message is: Please don’t delay – we’re here to help.”

He added: “Food poverty was already a national problem, but the effects of Covid-19 are making life even harder for so many people and we are seeing more and more families and individuals slipping into poverty due to circumstances beyond their control.

“This leads to problems with our physical well-being, our mental well-being and can have severe long-term consequences.”

And he advised: “As well as financial support such as free school meals, there’s a large and fantastic network of community organisations who are part of our local response to Covid-19.

“They are providing food and dealing with other requests – Kirklees people and communities have truly joined together at this time of national and international crisis.

“Helping our residents, including our children, to stay well is an absolute priority and we are focusing on the issues that matter most in people’s lives.

“Ensuring people don’t go hungry is an essential part of our response to coronavirus.”

Where to find help

To see which benefits you may be entitled to, and for help with applying, go to
https://www.betteroffkirklees.org.uk/#/home

To find out whether you qualify for free school meals, go to
https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/schools/free-school-meals.aspx

The Local Welfare Provision scheme, which helps vulnerable people in short-term crisis with food and essential items can be found here
https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/benefits/local-welfare-provision.aspx

The council’s coronavirus help and advice page shows the range of local organisations who can help, and is here

https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/health-and-well-being/coronavirus-help-in-your-community.aspx

The council’s page all about financial support is here
https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/council-tax/covid19-financial-hardship.aspx

Community response information can be found in other languages
https://www.kirklees.gov.uk/beta/health-and-well-being/coronavirus-languages.aspx

The local number for the Covid-19 Community Response helpline is 0800 4561114 (8am to 6pm weekdays, 10am to 4pm weekends and bank holidays). This continues to be available, and staff will call residents back.

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