News and Events
August 1, 2014
Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon, a converted school bus that has been artfully repainted with the bright colors of summer fruit backs up to our kitchen doors and is loaded with over 120 hot meals for children at numerous locations around the county. The process is repeated on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 for a different set of locations. The repurposed school bus is a new addition to the Federally funded Summer Food Program that has generated quite a bit of excitement and interest around the state. Elder Care Services has partnered with America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend to supply the meals to this new demographic segment.
Through this new contract with America's Second Harvest, our kitchen is averaging between 600 and 800 meals and snacks a day that serve hungry kids in low socioeconomic neighborhoods. This food bridges the gap in nutrition during the summer months for children 18 years and younger while school is not in session. The sites are located in a variety of settings including schools, parks, playgrounds, housing projects, day camps, recreation centers, migrant centers, community centers and churches.
The program is one of our most successful summer endeavors. As Kendra Bryant, a Whole Child Leon volunteer, tells us – "Having the Food on the Move bus show up in their neighborhood means the world to these kids. There's a little girl named Paula on the Aenon Church Road site who runs to the bus to eat and says she can't wait to see us drive up."
Like our seniors, children need healthy food all year long so they can grow and learn. During the school year, many children receive free and reduced-price meals through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. When school lets out for the summer, many of these children are at risk of hunger or poor nutrition. The Summer Food Program is designed to ensure that children have access to the nutritious meals they need during the summer months and to help ensure their bodies and minds are healthy and strong for the upcoming school year.
We are pleased to participate in this wonderful program and glad to be able to provide our high quality meals to fuel the summer activities of children. It is also providing us with new sources of revenue to help us replace our aging fleet of vans and allowing us to continue to focus on our mission of Improving the Quality of Life for Seniors in North Florida.
With warmest regards,
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