A scheme to tackle holiday hunger has helped thousands of disadvantaged children to receive free school meals across Bradford during the summer break.

£210,000 has been used by the Holiday Activities Food Programme this summer to fund 43 charities and community organisations who run summer holiday clubs across Bradford.

Over 2,300 children have been able to access the programme, which also provides activities for school-aged children including film making, gardening, cooking, science experiments, arts, craft and physical activities. Each club also helped to raise children’s awareness of good nutrition and healthy eating.

The projects took place in Keighley, Girlington, Fagley, Addingham, Manningham and Bierley and the groups involved were legible for a grant of up to £5,000 to provide meals and resources to help children with their activities.

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 a 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.”

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.