Milton Keynes City Council delivered thousands of activity places for children in receipt of benefit-related free school meals during the beginning of the Christmas break.
More than 7,000 places were made available across the city from Monday 19th to Thursday 22nd December, meaning that children from low-income families could enjoy varied activities and have a free meal.
There were dozens of providers who helped run the programme, with activities ranging from bowling to music lessons, and ninja clubs to Christmas fairs.
The City Council developed and funded the sessions to provide relief for struggling families who may otherwise find it difficult to pay for childcare and food costs when schools are closed.
Councillor Zoe Nolan, Labour Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:
“I’m thrilled that another programme of fun-filled activities has been delivered across the city. There was a great uptake among local families, and the smiles on the children’s’ faces spoke for themselves. I’d like to thank all of the local businesses, organisations, and our partners for helping us deliver another successful programme which has really made a difference to families’ lives here in MK.”
Councillor Jane Carr, Lib Dem Progressive Alliance Cabinet Member for Tackling Social Inequalities, added:
“This winter, many families will be forced to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table. Thousands of people are reliant on free school meals to help keep the costs down, so the Progressive Alliance launched these activity sessions in 2020 to keep that support going during the holidays.
“We have now delivered thousands of activity sessions, served just as many healthy meals, and we aren’t planning to stop there. We are committed to helping families through the cost-of-living crisis by delivering our £3.3m Winter Plan, ensuring there is sufficient support for those that need it.”