Holiday Activities and Food Programme

Education – in the House of Commons on 23rd November 2020.

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Photo of Tom Hunt Tom Hunt Conservative, Ipswich

What steps his Department is taking to ensure the timely implementation of the expansion of the holiday activities and food programme throughout the regions of England.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Rolling out the excellent holiday activity and food programme for children across the country will mean that even more children will benefit from free healthy meals and enriching holiday activities. We have already written to all the local authorities with guidance. We will work closely with them, including sharing best practice from our pilot programmes, and we are appointing a national organisation from spring next year to support the local delivery.

Photo of Tom Hunt Tom Hunt Conservative, Ipswich

Ipswich was lucky enough to be one of those pilots and, this summer, it actually had the holiday activity and food programme in operation. It was great to go there to meet not only the children who benefited from it, but the different organisations and the young adults from Ipswich who were able to play a part in delivering that service. Can the Minister outline what plans are in place, looking ahead to the Easter and summer holidays, to make sure that this continues to happen and that the community is completely aware of how it can get involved in this fantastic project?

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

It was a huge pleasure to visit the Government’s holiday activity and food programme with my hon. Friend in Ipswich this summer. We saw at first hand how local partnerships helped to deliver these excellent schemes, so we want to encourage schools, childcare providers, food suppliers, voluntary organisations, sports experts, and arts experts all to come together in partnership. Interested parties should contact their local authorities and together we will all make sure that next year’s holidays are full of food and fun.