A new £1.8m programme to ensure Bristol’s children have access to activities and free school meals during the school holidays have been approved by Bristol City Council.
The decision by the council’s Cabinet means the Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme, which will be launched this Easter, will provide support and meals to eligible children over the main school holiday periods due to receiving government funding for the project.
HAF will provide holiday activities and food for school age children who receive benefits related free school meals over the main school holiday periods, with Department for Education (DfE) funding not covering half-term.
In preparation for the Easter holidays, Bristol City Council is working with partners across the city to develop face-to-face activities, home activity packs and food parcels.
For the summer holidays, the council will work with a wider network of partners to develop a comprehensive programme of enrichment and physical activities that provide healthy and nutritious food, as well as support for families
Commenting, Bristol City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, Councillor Anna Keen said: “We know the pandemic has had a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of our children and young people. This funding is a much needed boost to help provide an additional level of support and build on the work we have been doing to address inequality exacerbated by the Covid pandemic.
“This is especially needed for the most vulnerable families in our city, who we know food poverty is a very real issue for and who cannot afford to pay for children’s activities over the holiday periods. We will ensure that this funding is targeted to those who need it most.”