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USDA Will Send Millions of Dollars in Pandemic Food Assistance to Florida. Here’s How it Could Help Central Florida Kids.

Additional federal pandemic nutrition assistance is headed to Florida to help feed millions of food-insecure kids this school year. 

Nearly 820 million dollars from the USDA will go toward the state’s Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer or P-EBT program. 

Each family that qualifies will get about 375 dollars on their child’s EBT card that can be used to buy groceries during the school year.  

Sky Beard, Florida Director of No Kid Hungry, says this additional funding could help over 2 million kids stay healthy and excel academically. 

“We know that hungry kids really just can’t learn and for many of them if they don’t have access to those school meals it has a tremendous impact not only on their health but their education as well.”

Sam Robinson, Piedmont Lakes Middle School Food and Nutrition Service Manager, says these extra dollars and meals go a long way to help struggling families. 

Robinson says for the last few months, schools have simply had to make up the difference, even sending home meal kits for quarantined families and students.

“We love all the kids. We bond with them. We build a relationship with them. And they always remember the cafeteria lady. They may forget some of the teachers. But everybody remembers the cafeteria lady. And those ladies really love those kids. And their hearts go out to them. Even when they’re not here. We want to make sure they have a balanced meal.”

About one in three children in Orange County are food-insecure. 

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »