Covid-19 Coronavirus

New scheme launched to support families over summer holidays

Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Pilot Summer Holiday Activity and Food ProgrammeCharities and community groups are being invited to apply for funding to help provide activities and healthy meals for children, who are eligible for free school meals, this summer.

The creation of the pilot Summer Holiday Activity and Food Programme is part of Government’s commitment to protect lower income families against rising living costs.  

Organisations can apply to establish a new programme, which includes a nutritious breakfast, dinner or lunch, or to open up existing groups, clubs and activities, to more children.

To secure funding, applicants will be asked to demonstrate they can provide a safe and inclusive environment and give an overview of their proposal, meal plans and costs. This should include details of the location, facilities, and number of children they can support.

The pilot scheme is being fundedfrom the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL), also known as the ‘sugar tax’.

Kate Lord-Brennan MHK, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

‘We know some families struggle to cover the costs of food and social activities during the summer holidays, and this will be felt even more this year with the rising cost of living.

‘I encourage charities and community groups to apply to take part in this initiative and help deliver provision in a direct way within communities to support the gap that can sometimes be felt by families in the summer holidays.’

Julie Edge MHK, Minister for Education, Sport and Culture, said:

‘We want every child to reach their full potential and healthy meals and enrichment activities can contribute to their development and improved attainment.

‘Evidence suggests that attending out-of-school activities can have a positive impact on children’s educational, health and wellbeing outcomes.’

Interested organisations can request an application form by emailing or calling +44 1624 642639 before the deadline on 26 June.

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