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23-03-2021 04:04 PM GMT

Thousands of school children from across Bradford district will be able to attend free holiday clubs or get home activity packs as well as free meals this Easter as part of a multi-million pound scheme from Bradford Council.

The council has been awarded £2.8M from the Department for Education's Holiday Activity and Food (HAF) programme to provide healthy meals and enriching activities for children on benefits-related free school meals during this year's Easter, Summer and Christmas school breaks. Additional funding from the Department for Work and Pensions' Covid Winter Grant Scheme means the council is able to offer food and activities for all children needing it this upcoming school holiday.

The council is working with partners in the charity, social enterprise and voluntary sector to deliver healthy food and enriching, fun activities.

More than 80 organisations have received grant funding to deliver the support. The partnership project aims not just to provide good food but also activities that are educational as well as creative and physical. Some organisations will be offering face-to-face activities, following Covid-19 safety guidance, while others will supply home activity packs and food parcels.

Cllr Imran Khan, Bradford Council's portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “Bradford Council is determined to make sure that no child goes hungry in our district. No family should have to worry about feeding their children during school holidays. School holidays should be positive times for families.

"The pandemic is making life tough for low income families right now and school holidays can be a real pressure point because of increased costs, such as food and childcare. So, we are pleased to be able to offer this extra level of support to families who need it, ensuring children and young people get access to nutritious food and fun, healthy activities.

“Again, we are linking up with many wonderful community organisations we have in our district. This partnership working helps us to reach those in need in our diverse communities. It is an approach that worked well over the February half-term and the Christmas break.”

Any families that are unable to access support within their local communities or foodbanks should complete a form on the Bradford Council website or call 01274 431000 and select option 2.

Families across Bradford district who do not currently receive free school meals but think they might be eligible can find out if they qualify and how to apply on the council website -https://www.bradford.gov.uk/benefits/applying-for-benefits/free-school-meals/