A SCHEME to tackle holiday hunger has seen thousands of disadvantaged children from across Bradford District enjoy free meals and activities during the summer break.

Bradford Council’s £210,000 Holiday Activities and Food Programme has funded 43 charities and community organisations to run summer holiday clubs for school age children.

Groups were able to apply for a grant of up to £5,000 to provide meals and activities for local youngsters during the school summer holiday.

More than 2,300 children have benefited from the programme, enjoying activities including film making, animal husbandry, gardening, cooking, experiments, arts, crafts and physical activities such as skipping, hula hooping, Zumba, cycling and fencing. Each club also included an element of nutritional education aimed at improving children’s knowledge of healthy eating.

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Projects took place across the district, including in Keighley, Girlington, Fagley, Addingham, Manningham and Bierley.

Among the organisations awarded grants were Brathay Trust, PRISM Youth Project, Flying Futures, Save the Mother Trust, Windhill Community Café, Keighley Association for Women and Children Centre, Arakan Rohingya Organisation UK and the Down Syndrome Training Support Service.

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “The long school summer holiday can be incredibly challenging for many families in our district. For those already struggling on low budgets, the extra childcare costs can lead to difficulties feeding children.

“This year has been especially tough because of the Coronavirus pandemic which has disrupted schooling and had a dire financial impact on many.

“The aim of the Holiday Activities and Food Programme is to help families that can’t afford food or activities. We want all our children to be in good physical and mental condition when they return to school in September so that they are ready to learn and so improve their chances of growing up to be happy, healthy, well-educated adults.

“I want to thank all the organisations who have contributed to the project. A wonderfully diverse range of activities has been delivered to communities across the district supporting our children to be happy and healthy, which is what every child deserves.”