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Summer is the hungriest time of the year for Central Florida kids

A woman prepares kids meals at Mercy Kitchen and the other is a volunteer at the warehouse packing family boxes.
Second Harvest
A woman prepares kids meals at Mercy Kitchen.

Second Harvest Food Bank said summer is the hungriest time of the year for Central Florida kids.

Kids who usually get free breakfast and lunch during the school year, often go without once schools close for summer.

Second Harvest’s Greg Higgerson said one in five Central Florida kids is at risk of going hungry.

To address this need, the food bank operates 59 summer break spots with the state of Florida and gives out an additional 300,000 meals a day at local soup kitchens and community centers.

“Kids have one shot at growing up," said Higgerson. "And when they don't get the right amount of nutrition. There are lifelong effects to that it's not something you can just fix later on in life.”

Higgerson said more families than ever are struggling with summer hunger due to inflation.

“Having to come up with another $100 or $200 every month that they weren't [able to] during the school year, to provide that extra food can be a really tough thing to come up with," said Higgerson. "So it's not a real stretch to imagine that they might, they might be going without food during the summer.”

Nonprofit No Kid Hungry Florida, which deals with food insecurity, found 82 percent of parents of school aged kids had a harder time buying groceries this year because of inflation. Nearly half of all school aged kids experienced symptoms of food insecurity.

To find your nearest food bank, go to summerbreakspot.org.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.
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