Children to receive free meals and activities during school holidays

More than 500 requests were made for emergency food hampers during the February half term across Fenland.

More than 500 requests were made for emergency food hampers during the February half term across Fenland. - Credit: PA

Thousands of Cambridgeshire children will receive free meals and activities during the school holidays thanks to a £1.8 million Department for Education funding boost.

Cambridgeshire County Council will be working with local schools, voluntary and community organisations, and childcare providers to launch the Holiday Activities and Food Programme (HAF).

The programme, which is optional for children who are eligible for free school meals to attend, will launch in the Easter holiday.

The programme will also cover the summer and Christmas holidays in 2021 and will run at multiple locations in the region.

Children are entitled to receive free school meals if they live in households claiming qualifying benefits.

Eligible families can find providers who are part of the scheme online.

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Parents and carers should contact the provider directly to book a place. 

Councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council's children and young people's committee, said: “We know how challenging this past year has been for many families.

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"Increased food and childcare costs and reduced incomes have created an additional pressure, and the school holidays can be particularly challenging.

"We hope the HAF programme will not only help relieve some of the pressure for parents and carers, but to enable children to have a greater knowledge of health and nutrition and develop their social skills.

"I look forward to hearing stories from some of our children and young people about their activities and adventures during the Easter holiday.”

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