Chancellor confirms £200m for school holiday activities and food programme
The Treasury’s Budget announcement of £200m a year for the continuation of the holiday activities and food (HAF) programme is very welcome news. However, it is worrying that the Government has chosen to not extend eligibility for the scheme or to expand the number of children that are eligible for Free School Meals.
Currently, nearly 50% of children living in food insecure households are not eligible for HAF or Free School Meals and HAF provision does not cover every day of the school holidays.
That is why the Mayor’s Fund will continue to run Kitchen Social, which funds and supports around 100 local community organisations to run holiday food and activities programmes around the capital. Operating since 2017, the programme provides nutritious food, safe community venues and enriching activities. It is run on an inclusive basis, with no child in need required to prove their free school meals eligibility.
The Mayor’s Fund will also continue to make our Take & Make recipe boxes available to local councils and local clubs. These contain ingredients for four portions of healthy vegetarian meals, supported by recipe cards and fun and engaging ‘how to’ videos for the whole family.
If you are a local authority looking to provide holiday food and activities or recipe boxes in your borough, we would love to hear from you.