Sessions to provide children and young people with healthy meals and educational activities are back on the menu this summer with the return of Food and Fun.
The Welsh Government has provided up to 4.85 million for the provision of Food and Fun which is run by the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) in schools over the summer holidays. The sessions offer children and young people a healthy breakfast and lunch, physical activity and enrichment sessions, and information on food and nutrition.
The scheme is aimed at providing support to those from disadvantaged areas, and this year the funding is expected to provide around 8,000 places across 200 cohorts. There is also provision to offer support for children with Additional Learning Needs as part of the scheme, including 1:1 support.
Evaluation of the scheme from previous years has shown that these sessions have helped to improve school engagement and the overall well-being of those children and young people attending.
The Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said:
The long summer holiday can be challenging for some for many reasons, and it's more important than ever that we do all we can to support our children and young people. We know that there are learners who struggle outside of the school routine, and with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis families are feeling under pressure.
The Food and Fun scheme makes the most of school facilities by offering fun activities as well as healthy meals, and can also play a role in helping children in disadvantaged areas to recover from the impact of the pandemic by supporting their well-being and education.
Our ambition is for all schools in Wales to be Community Focused Schools which respond to the needs of their community and build strong partnerships with families and other services. Food and Fun is an excellent example of this, providing healthy meals and activities for children and engaging with the wider community.
WLGA Education spokesperson, Councillor Ian Roberts said:
WLGA are very proud to run Food and Fun on behalf of Welsh Government, a programme which supports families during the summer holiday, a period that can prove challenging for many families in Wales.
The programme, which is now in its eighth year, has gone from strength to strength since launching and supports more families than ever with a healthy and balanced diet across Wales.
Over the summer holidays this year, Food and Fun will provide places for 8000 children each day and that's a potential of 96,000 attendances at schemes across Wales.
We would like to thank the Welsh Government for funding the scheme, and all partners across different local authorities who work hard to make this programme possible and successful.