Holiday activities and food programme (HAF)

kids drinking shakes in sun hats by beach huts

Image courtesy of Visit Wight.

Sign up for your free place on our holiday programme and try a range of fun activities and enjoy delicious healthy meals.

Who qualifies? Information for parents and carers

The HAF programme funding is primarily for school aged children from reception to year 11 (inclusive) who receive benefits-related free school meals.

Benefits-related free school meals are available to pupils if their parents are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits. You can check whether you qualify on our free school meals page.

Universal infant free school meals

All children in reception, year 1 and year 2 in England’s state-funded schools receive a free meal under the Department for Education (DfE) universal infant free school meal (UIFSM) policy.

Infant pupils who receive a free meal under UIFSM must also be eligible for benefits-related FSM to be able to access a place on the HAF programme.

Other children and families

Local authorities have discretion to use up to 15% of their funding to provide free or subsidised holiday club places for children who are not in receipt of benefits-related free school meals but who the local authority believe could benefit from HAF provision.

This may include, for example:

  • children assessed by the local authority as being in need, at risk or vulnerable
  • looked-after children
  • children under early help

Aims of the HAF programme

As a result of the programme, we want children to:

  • receive healthy and nutritious meals
  • maintain a healthy level of physical activity
  • be happy, have fun and meet new friends
  • develop a greater understanding of food, nutrition and other health-related issues
  • take part in fun and engaging activities that support their development
  • feel safe and secure
  • get access to the right support services
  • return to school feeling engaged and ready to learn

Families can also benefit when HAF providers include their needs in planning and delivering their programme. This could be through:

  • providing opportunities to get involved in cookery classes
  • ensuring they are signposted towards other sources of information and support, such as health services or employment and education opportunities

What we offer

The HAF scheme is funded by the DfE to provide engaging activities and nutritious meals during the school holidays to children who would normally receive FSM. If your child would normally receive FSM, you do not have to pay for these activity days.

A core ambition of the HAF scheme is to promote the education of living a healthy lifestyle. This begins with healthy eating habits, and each of our providers are required to supply a healthy meal for free.

The providers will cater for children with specific cultural, religious, and allergy-related dietary requirements. Pre-booking is required.


All HAF providers have been awarded their funded places because they have demonstrated to Hampshire HAF team that they will provide and maintain a safe environment in which to participate.

Check with the activity providers to see if you should remain on-site or nearby for the duration of the activity.

Holiday Activities and Food Programme Annual Report