Last Monday, June 5th, our 10th annual, award-winning, Summer Food Program for Children began distributing hot lunches, breakfasts and snacks to kids living in low-income areas across Central Florida.
During the long summer recess, children are unable to participate in the free school lunch program since cafeterias are closed. That’s when the Summer Food Program helps bridge the nutritional gap.
In our first week, over 40,000 meals were transported to 81 locations in 6 counties. Approximately 5,000 unduplicated children were offered free meals every day. With 9 more weeks to go, our work is cut out for us.
Florida has one of the highest food insecurity rates for kids in the nation; 25% – one out of every four children. During the summer, many struggling families have to spend more money on food and make tougher household budgetary decisions, and that’s why since 2008 we’ve committed ourselves to this program.
Our freshly-prepared, USDA meal-pattern compliant, quality hot lunches, mobile trailers, drivers, food production and administrative staff, as well as our willingness to literally go the extra mile to serve outlying areas and smaller sites, makes this a costly, but essential endeavor.
That’s why we’ve launched the Summer of Hope for Kids Campaign to make sure kids don’t struggle with hunger simply because they are not attending school during the 10 week summer recess.
It takes resources for programs like this to survive. You can help by starting a virtual food drive.
For every $10 you raise, you’ll be helping provide the equivalent of 40 meals.
Our program runs from June 5th to August 11th.
To see a map of our site locations, follow this link: Second Harvest Summer Sites
To see all locations throughout Florida, follow this link: All Summer Food Sites National
You can also text “food” to 877-877 to find a list of sites near you.
Santos Maldonado, Manager, Childhood Hunger Programs