Public-Private Partnership Seeks to Ease Student Hunger
May 3rd, 2013 | WMFE- A summer camp program for homeless Central Florida students is aiming to provide about 1500 children with meals, activities and mentoring this year. But with student homeless numbers in the thousands in Central Florida, the Summer of Dreams program can only help a fraction of those in need.
About 9,000 students in Seminole, Osceola and Orange Counties are homeless.
Tyler Chandler, the executive director of the City of Orlando’s non profit After School All Stars which runs the summer of dreams program says they could be living in motels, shelters or sharing a house with several other families.
Chandler says summer vacation is especially difficult for homeless children.
“You’re taking the most at risk kids in this community, during the time they’re most at risk and you’re going to leave them essentially by themselves," says Chandler.
"It’s a terrifying thought, and again it’s one where if we had the resources and the wherewithal, we would want to take care of all of them," he says.
The program, which is in it’s 3rd year, is a partnership between local governments, non profits like second harvest food bank, and corporations including 5th 3rd bank which provide money and supplies.
It costs 186 dollars per student to pay for meals, activities and mentoring over the 10 week summer break.