Thousands of children set to benefit from free meals

Backed by £9 million, disadvantaged children in England will now benefit from free healthy meals and enriching activities throughout the summer.

Following campaigning, the government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme will support up to 50,000 disadvantaged children across 17 local authority areas and help them to stay healthy and active over the summer.

Ten providers were successful in their bid for the programme, who will be supporting families in need with activities and healthy meals. Activities will include a variety of online and directly delivered physical activities such as dance, Yoga, HIIT and adventure play making the most of their outdoor spaces.

Vicky Ford, Minister for Children and Families, said: “It is more important than ever before to make sure the needs of the most disadvantaged are at the heart of everything we do. We cannot afford for any of our children to lose out of their education as a result of Covid-19. Just last week we announced the Covid Summer Food Fund, and a £1 billion Covid catch up fund so that no child is left behind. On top of this, we are rolling out the £9 million Holiday Activities and Food programme in England, ensuring that thousands of children will be able to benefit from free nutritious food and enriching activities during the summer period.”