The Government’s Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will be expanded across Copeland next year.
The £220m scheme will make free places available to children eligible for Free School Meals for a minimum of 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, 6 weeks a year, covering four weeks in the summer and a week’s worth of provision in each of the Easter and Christmas holidays.
During Summer 2020, Cumbria County Council work with Third Sector organisations and schools to develop a directory of activities held across Copeland, which were published a week ahead of the summer holidays, and gave schools the chance to share information with parents before the schools broke up.
In addition, Healthy Start scheme payments which are accepted in shops across Copeland are also set to increase from £3.10 to £4.25 a week from next April, 2021.
This scheme supports pregnant women or those with children under four who have a low income and are in receipt of benefits to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, helping people boost the long-term health of their children.
The Government has also pledged additional funding of £16m for food distribution charities, with conversations with FareShare and others ongoing as to how this is allocated.
The MP for Copeland, Trudy Harrison, said: “Recognising the benefits of nutritious food to education and health, the Holiday Activities and Food programme and additional £16m for food charities will further strengthen the safety net for individuals, families and communities who need help at this critical time.
“This significant extension further builds on the wide range of support the government has put in place to support families, not just at school but through funding for local services, as well as the £63m welfare assistance scheme.”
Businesses wishing to join the Healthy Start scheme to start accepting vouchers can apply as a Healthy Start retailer by visiting https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/ and downloading an application form.
A spokesperson at Morrisons supermarket, said: "Morrisons is happy to accept Healthy Start vouchers and we welcome the Government's decision to increase the value of the weekly payments, which will help local families across Copeland who benefit from this important scheme."
Healthy Start Retailers across Copeland:
Co-op - Millom Cumbria LA18 4BT
Rowlands Pharmacy - 43 Wellington Street Millom Cumbria LA18 4DG
Thronhill Post Office - The Crescent Thornhill Egremont Cumbria CA22 2SP
Co-op - Egremont Cumbria CA22 2AD
Mccolls - Egremont Cumbria CA22 2AB
Heron Frozen Foods - Egremont Cumbria CA22 2DR
M/s Pearson - 7b Coleridge Drive Egremont Cumbria CA22 2EX
Sproats News Agent - Ennerdale Road Cleator Moor Cumbria CA25 5LL
G & E Murgatroyd - Park House Service Station Springfield Road Bigrigg Cumbria CA22 2TL
Co-op - Cleator Moor Cumbria CA25 5PX
Four Seasons Superstore - Leconfield Street Cleator Moor Cumbria CA25 5QG
Your Local Boots Pharmacy - 6-8 Main Street Frizington Cumbria CA26 3SA
Asda Whitehaven - Preston Street Whitehaven CA28 9DL
Aldi Stores Ltd - Preston Street Whitehaven Cumbria CA28 9DL
Iceland - Retail Park Preston Street Whitehaven Cumbria CA28 9DL
Boots The Chemist - Whitehaven CA28 7JN
Lidl - Unit 1 Bridges Retail Park Whitehaven CA28 7RQ
Wilkinson - 23-24 Lowther Street Whitehaven Cumbria CA28 7DG
Morrisons - Flatt Walks Whitehaven Cumbria Cumbria CA28 7RW
Heron Frozen Foods - Whitehaven Cumbria CA28 7LA
Tesco - Bransty Row North Shore Whitehaven Cumbria CA28 7XY
Co-op - Seacliffe Whitehaven Cumberland CA28 9PY
Gem Derwent - Penrith Road Keswick Cumbria CA12 4PA
Keswick - Main Street - 25 Main Street Keswick CA125BL
Boots The Chemist - Keswick CA12 5BL
E&h Booth And Co Ltd - Tithebarn Street Keswick Cumbria CA12 5EA
Booths - Keswick Cumbria CA12 5EA
Spar High Hill - High Hill Garage High Hill Keswick Cumbria CA12 5NY
Telk Ltd - 57 Towers Lane Cockermouth Cumbria Cumbria CA13 9EE
Sainsburys - Cockermouth Cumbria CA13 9QF
One Stop Store - 36/38 Main Street Cockermouth Cumbria Cumbria CA13 9LQ
Co-op - Cockermouth Cumbria CA13 9QW