Holiday Activities and Food Programme 2024

Summer Holiday, Activities and Food Programme #HAF2024


Child watching fish at Whipsnade

What is planned for summer 2024:

The council has been awarded grant funding, from the Department for Education (DfE), to coordinate free activities and food, for school aged children in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals (FSM), during the spring, summer, and winter school holidays in 2024.

Why we need you:

We want to offer a diverse range of events to meet the local interests and needs of children, young people and their families. We hope that by doing this that eligible children and young people across Milton Keynes, will be supported to

  • eat more healthily over the school holidays
  • be more active during the school holidays
  • take part in engaging and enriching activities
  • be safe and not to be socially isolated
  • have greater knowledge of health and nutrition
  • be more engaged with school and other local services

Is your organisation able to provide activities and food during summer 2024?

We are keen to work with organisations across Milton Keynes, and we are inviting interested organisations to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for funding to deliver activity and food events during the summer Holiday Activities and Food Programme that will take place Monday 29 July to Thursday 22 August 2024

In line with the DfE grant, provision needs to be targeted for those children and young people, where the family is in receipt of benefit related Free School Meals.  We would encourage organisations to view the FSM map click here and consider the detail, to ensure that events are proposed in areas of need.

We also encourage organisations to consider the FAQs click here which have been compiled to support you with any queries, along with the DfE guidance which can be found here Holiday activities and food programme 2023 - GOV.UK ( Please note that due to the DfE grant funding arrangements it is important that any events meet the requirements set out in their guidance, this includes the duration of sessions which need to be delivered over 16 days, with sessions running for at at least 4 hours on each of the days.

Once you are ready to make your EOI, please complete the EOI Form that can be found by clicking EOI link here.

Please note that the deadline for applications is midnight on 9 May 2024, any application received after this date will not be considered.

It is anticipated decisions regarding events for summer will be made early June 2024.

Please email us at if you have any questions.  


Children and Spiderman

Free School Meals

Who is eligible?

You must be in receipt of one of the below benefits to be eligible for free school meals for your child/children.

  • Income Support
  • Employment and Support Allowance – Income related
  • Income Based Job Seekers Allowance (not Contribution Based JSA)
  • Child Tax Credit only (with a combined family income of less than £16,190 per annum as assessed by HM Revenues & Customs) Please note, anyone receiving Working Tax Credit, regardless of income, will not qualify for free school meals.
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid four weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you receive)
  • National Asylum Seekers Support (NASS)
  • Guaranteed Element of Pension Tax Credit

If your child is eligible for free school meals, they’ll remain eligible until they finish that phase of schooling (primary or secondary).

If you think you may be eligible for Free School Meals, please contact your child's school or click the link below to apply.

Milton Keynes Council Free School Meals Application


Children painting

Winter plan to help most vulnerable

This winter, one in five people are expected not to be able to heat their homes properly, and one in 20 will not have enough food.

Vulnerable people, such as those with disabilities or health conditions, are disproportionately affected. The cost-of-living crisis is one of the reasons that MKCC have a surge in demand for our services, so for the second year we’re committing funding to help residents facing food and energy insecurity.

We’re doing this to support residents, but also to try to prevent some of the pressure on essential services such as hospitals

Our Winter Plan can be found here alongside useful links to services and support. 

Cost of living support | Milton Keynes City Council (

NHS Healthy Start scheme

If you are pregnant, or have a child under 4, and you are claiming certain benefits you may be able to get financial help to buy healthy foods and milk under the NHS Healthy Start scheme.

If you’re eligible (check your eligibility here), then you’ll be sent a Healthy Start card with money on it that you can use at supermarkets, local shops and markets stocking fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables. You can also take your card to a local children’s centre to collect free vitamins for babies and young children.

It’s much easier to apply, now the scheme has been revised so families can apply onlineA list of frequently asked questions can be found here.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF

Holiday Activities and Food Programme #HAF contact information