Thousands of Staffordshire school children will receive nearly £1.5 million of free meals and access to holiday activities this summer.
More than twenty thousand children and young people, who are in receipt of benefits related to free school meals, will be eligible for the holiday activities and food programme, being organised by Staffordshire County Council.
Available to eligible children aged between five and 16, it will include physical play, enriching activities, sport and youth sessions for summer.
Mark Sutton, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People, said: “With the relaxing of social distancing rules, we are delighted to expand the programme, giving parents and carers additional help by providing good food and organised activities to keep children well-fed and busy over the school holidays.”
The Department for Education has made funds available to every local authority in England to coordinate free holiday provision, including healthy food and enriching activities.
The Holidays Activities and Food (HAF) Programme funded the delivery of Family Activity Kits at Easter and has been expanded to include activities with a free healthy meal over the summer and Christmas holidays in 2021. The programme aims to address issues identified through national research in relation to children living in low income families.
Staffordshire County Council is working with charities, community groups, schools, and other organisations to deliver the programme. Eligible children will be offered free activities for a minimum of four hours a day, for four days a week of the summer holidays. A healthy meal will be provided on site to help with the cost of food over the holidays.
For summer, the programme can be accessed through a registration system providing details of local activities in the area that eligible families can then book onto.
All those eligible for the holiday activities and food programme will receive a letter via their school. Letters were due to be sent out by 2nd July. Visit www.staffordshire.gov.uk/holidayactivities for more information or contact a local Family Hub. People can register from Monday 5 July.
(Main image: Wayne Glover (Time 4 Sport) Cllr Mark Sutton and Matt Kelter (Time 4 Sport.)
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