About the HAF programme

HAF provides sessions during the school holidays for children who are receiving benefits-related free school meals. The HAF fund focuses on children and families who are struggling and live in areas of deprivation and poverty.

In 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, Marcus Rashford led a campaign for further support for families during school holidays. He encouraged parents and carers to sign their children up to the HAF sessions.


HAF funding is provided by the Department for Education (DfE). After a successful trial, the HAF programme is now being funded for a three-year period which started in 2022. 

HAF sessions

Children can access 24 sessions in a year which are divided over the key holidays.

  • Easter: 4 sessions
  • Summer: 16 Sessions
  • Winter: 4 sessions

Each session is a minimum of four hours.

A meal is provided without any further charge to parents. These should be hot meals but in some circumstances could be a healthy packed lunch.

The sessions aim to develop lifelong skills, self-confidence and resilience. It makes sure that all children have access to activities, education and equal opportunities.