HAF Holiday Activity and Food Scheme

Holiday, activity and food scheme logoThe Department for Education (DfE) has provided funding to local authorities to coordinate a programme that is designed to provide healthy food and enriching activities during the Easter, Summer and Christmas holidays to children who receive benefits-related free school meals.

The programme offers valuable support to families on lower incomes, giving them the opportunity to access rewarding and active activities alongside healthy meals over the school holidays.

Following the success for the programme in Southampton in 2021 we are delighted to have been awarded funding to run the programme for the next three years in the city.

The video below celebrates the great work of Southampton City Council and its partners in delivering the HAF project over the summer of 2021, showcasing the wealth of provision, partnership working and commitment to supporting our city’s children. The project supported eligible children receiving free school meals in Southampton, offering families a safe environment to be active, educated, entertained through enrichment activities and the added provision of health meals.

Who is the HAF programme funding for?

The funding for this holiday activity programme is for children who are in receipt of benefits-related free school meals (Reception to Year 11).

The programme and how to get involved

We work with local providers to establish places and provision with local stakeholders and partners to provide a wide range of activities and healthy meals for all eligible children during our Easter, Summer and Christmas holiday programmes.

We want to regularly engage with a wide network of community-based organisations from across the city including existing holiday care providers, schools, sports, music groups and creative providers and any others who would be interested in taking part.

Provisions needs to be:

  • Spring: At least four hours a day, four days a week for one week
  • Summer: At least four hours a day, four days a week for four weeks
  • Winter: At least four hours a day, four days a week for one week

The minimum of four days delivery do not have to run consecutively and can be delivered split across the weeks or in half day sessions.

We are interested in proposals from providers who can deliver within one or more of areas of the city – and from providers who would be interested in ‘scaling up’ their current provision, to meet the needs of a wider cohort of children and families within Southampton. We would be delighted to discuss ideas providers might have, at this stage, for any support they may need to scale up their provision – and to discuss what this might entail.

Further details

Enriching activities SHOW


Food SHOW


Physical activities SHOW


Nutritional education SHOW


Food education for families and carers SHOW


Signposting and referrals SHOW


Policies and procedures SHOW


Our HAF 2022 programme is now open!

We are currently welcoming applications from providers for our 2022 Holiday, Activities and food schemes. Parents can also register and book places through our online platform. For more information please review our HAF guidance document.

Applications from providers SHOW


Register or book places for children SHOW