Step up to prevent school holiday hunger and isolation

Hampshire County Council is looking to identify more organisations that can help families facing hardship across the county – calling for them to apply for a place on its list of approved Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme providers

Sep 28 2022

Child eating a plate of spaghetti

The HAF programme provides enriching activities and healthy food to some of Hampshire’s most vulnerable children during the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays. The programme is set to enter its third year and is inviting applications from providers to be able to run HAF schemes in 2023. Local organisations, voluntary and community groups have from 3 October until 4 November 2022 to apply. 

Councillor Roz Chadd, Deputy Leader of the County Council and Executive Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “Our HAF providers play an incredibly vital role which, with the cost of living on the rise, is needed now more than ever before. At a time when children might otherwise go without, the HAF programme ensures that children continue to have fun, learn, eat healthily and socialise with their peers – and none of this would be possible without the hard work and dedication of Hampshire’s providers. I would strongly encourage any organisation looking to make a positive impact during these most challenging of times, to apply for a place on our network of approved providers.” 

Earlier this year, Hampshire County Council extended its HAF programme by another three years to 2025, after receiving approximately £10 million from the Department for Education which funds the programme nationally. The programme makes free spaces available to eligible children who receive benefits-related free school meals. As well as enjoying hot nutritious meals, children are encouraged to be active by participating in sports and spending time outdoors, and to engage in a range of enriching activities such as arts and crafts, and free play.  

Organisations interested in helping to deliver the programme in their local area next year can bid to become a recognised provider on the County Council’s framework. Those already on the framework do not need to reapply.  

The County Council will tender for next year’s full HAF programme in early 2023. If approved, organisations will then be able to apply to deliver activities over Easter, Summer and Christmas. Suitable organisations include schools, childcare providers, community organisations, as well as sports coaching and outdoor education providers. The County Council is particularly keen to hear from organisations that can provide services to older school children.  

Virtual information sessions are being held about the framework on the following dates and organisations are invited to attend to find out more. To book onto your chosen date, please use this booking link.  

HAF Framework Information sessions 

Session 1 - Wednesday 5 October, 6pm to 7.30pm 

Session 2 - Thursday 6 October, 2pm to 3.30pm 

Session 3 - Monday 10 October, 3.30pm to 5pm 

Session 4 - Thursday 13 October, 6pm to 7.30pm