To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 16 July 2019 to Question 276204, on the Holiday Activities and Food Research Fund, what funding organisations that unsuccessfully bid for funding from that fund can apply for to feed children.
The purpose of the Holiday Activities and Food Research Fund is to allow us to gather more evidence about the number of disadvantaged children at risk of going hungry during the school holidays, the most effective ways of tackling this, and the costs and burdens associated with doing so. As a result, we will be able to make an evidence-based decision about whether and how we should intervene in the longer term.
The 2019 programme follows a successful £2 million programme in the summer of 2018, which saw charities and community groups provide meals and activities such as football, play sessions and cooking classes for more than 18,000 children across the country. To build on that, we have more than quadrupled the funding for 2019 so that even more disadvantaged children can benefit. This summer around 50,000 disadvantaged children will be offered free meals and activities over the upcoming summer holidays with funding of £9.1 million.
This programme of work will help us to continue to research how it can best support children eligible for free school meals during the holidays and to test a new model under which local co-ordinators oversee and fund clubs in their areas.