Benefits and money advice

Holiday Activities and Food Programme to get involved with this summer

18 June 2021

Holiday Activities and Food Programme to get involved with this summer

Famous footballer and campaigner Marcus Rashford MBE and Henry Dimbleby MBE Founder of Leon, Independent Lead of the National Food Strategy are working with the Food Foundation to help promote the Government’s new Holiday Activities and Food programme.

The aim is to make sure schools and parents are aware of their local schemes and that parents take the opportunity to sign their child or children up to it this summer.

How to get involved this summer

The activists wrote to all local authorities promoting the scheme

We know that the holidays can be a really difficult time for families who are struggling to make ends meet or who are juggling work and childcare. The holidays should be a time for every child to enjoy themselves rather than worrying about having enough to eat or how they can spend their free time.

That’s why we’re really excited about the summer holiday programmes that are being funded by the Government and will take place across the whole of England. This was recommended by the National Food Strategy when it was published last year. A petition supporting the recommendation was signed by over 1 million people.   

Free to children who receive free school meals, but children and young people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome  

Places on the holiday schemes are available for free to children who receive free school meals, but children and young people of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to attend. Each local programme will provide delicious, healthy meals, allow kids to get active, help them learn new things, make friends and have fun. And that is what the holidays are all about!  

You can find out more by watching this new film that we’ve made

The holiday programmes are open to children of any age and are free for children eligible for free school meals. They will: 
Provide a safe and supportive environment for children 

  • Be led by experienced local coordinators teaming up with a range of different partners in their communities 
  • Serve children tasty and nutritious food and opportunities to learn about food and nutrition 
  • Organise lots of activities so every child can find something they enjoy - from Kung Fu and cooking to bushcraft. 
  • Keep children and young people happy, healthy and active  
  • Offer a flexible childcare option for busy parents 

Whats going on in Waltham Forest

Find out what’s available in Waltham Forest on our holiday pages which will updated over the next few weeks with a range of summer opportunities for children and young people. Waltham Forest will also be sending a letter to all families who are entitled to free school meals for their children giving details on how to attend the activities.

If you think your children are entitled to receive free school meals but haven’t yet applied, please find more information and how to apply on our free school meals pages.

We hope you and your family have a great summer with the Holiday Activities and Food programme!