Argyll and Bute Council is using its allocation from the Scottish Government’s Island Cost Crisis Emergency Fund to provide a range of services. They include:
Food bank grants – £5,000 will go to each of the four island community food organisations. They include Islay Foodbank, Bute Oasis, Tiree Food Project and Mull and Iona Community Trust.
Free school meal top ups – The council will pay an additional £1.60 per day for every secondary school pupil, in receipt of free school meals, every day between 14th February 2023 to 30th June 2023. This includes school holidays. The payment means that pupils in receipt of free school meals will also have additional funding for food throughout the day such as snacks, if required.
Parent and carers will receive a letter from the council explaining the additional payment, by BACS by 10th February.
Argyll and Bute Love Local cards – Households in receipt of council tax reduction will receive a £120 card to spend in local island businesses. This ensures that households who do not have access to a local food bank, or who would not wish to use the food bank, have some additional support. The council has a list of recipients and will issue the cards from 13th February. More information on the Love Local cards is available on the council website https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/argyll-and-bute-card
Councillor Liz McCabe, Policy Lead for the Islands and Business Development:
“The cost of living crisis continues to affect many communities across Argyll and Bute. Our island residents are seeing a significant increase in costs with many goods and services more expensive than the mainland. With costs much higher than the UK average, many residents are struggling.
Funding from the Scottish Government means that we, as a council can take urgent action and help provide support and essential services to those who require it.”
The council has a dedicated Cost of Living webpage offering information and support.