School Is Out But Kids Don't Have To Go Hungry
Florida children who rely on free and reduced lunch during the school year go without food during the summer months. There are summer feeding programs in place, but a lot of kids aren't using them.
[Summer BreakSpot logo]
This is a good year for the state of Florida’s Summer BreakSpot. That’s the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services program that helps to feed kids during the summer months. Implementation supervisor Lori Ciszak says the state was able to add new sites this year. “We have just over 900 new sites in the state of Florida with just over 2000 returning, so currently, right now, the total of sites is just over 3100 sites,” she said.
In Central Florida, 240 schools will be summer feeding sites, but in those communities where there are no schools, organizations like Second Harvest Food bank try to step in. Vice President of Development Greg Higgerson says Second Harvest will be operating 22 sites in a variety of locations.
“It could be a center for where maybe kids are going for a day camp type of thing, and of course they need to eat while they’re there, and so we’re pleased to sort of augment the school choices that are out there,” he said.
Food is available, but transportation isn’t. The program is open to any kid under age 18 and younger. But Higgerson says only about 20-percent of the children on free and reduced lunch take advantage of the summer feeding program.