4,000 Harrow children aged 5-16 who qualify for Free School Meals (FSM) will be able to book a space on holiday clubs, including at Pinner Wood Primary School.
Harrow Council and Young Harrow Foundation, a charity that supports voluntary sector organisations working with children and young people across the borough, has commissioned the funding to 17 charities and holiday club providers who will offer 128,000 hours of free activities and provide 32,000 meals.
This includes two exclusive programmes for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Many of the activities will be taking place within primary and secondary schools, allowing children access to opportunities wherever they are.
Harrow Council Leader Graham Henson said: “Foodbank usage has risen by around 24 per cent year on year before COVID-19. The pandemic has only exacerbated the issue.
“An increasing number of families in the borough struggle to put food on their children’s plates through the holiday periods. This amazing initiative will help replace those summer holiday anxieties with excitement for both parents and young people alike at the prospect of a healthy active holiday.”
The Department for Education (DfE) is funding local authorities to deliver the Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme. This national initiative was sparked by a campaign by Manchester United and England footballer Marcus Rashford.
The summer HAF programme follows a successful Easter Pilot which saw more than 500 children each receive 16 hours of activities and free meals across the week.Food for the HAF Programmes is being provided by The Pantry. It will be prepared fresh in the kitchens with the aim of giving children delicious and nutritious food to fuel their activities.
For more information visit youngharrowfoundation.org/haf-programme