ORLANDO, Fla. — During the summer, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida provides meals to over 100 summer spots across six counties. Sixty percent of children in Central Florida qualify for free or reduced meals, but only 9 percent participate in the Summer Food Service Program. The Summer Program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture as part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
“We are on the front lines of the fight against child hunger in Central Florida. Every child deserves to have access to enough food, yet so many miss meals in the summertime when school is closed. Second Harvest and our network of feeding partners work hard to provide food to children in our community, but we are burdened by a few, unnecessary administrative rules that make it difficult to ensure all children, especially in rural areas, don’t skip meals. Congress can help strengthen our work by streamlining how summer and after school programs work together to allow more children to access the nutrition they need,” said Dave Krepcho, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
We also support expanding nutrition programs to allow a pre-paid grocery card available in the summer and providing meals to children to eat at home through mobile feeding and delivery programs. By implementing this type of practice, thousands of additional children can be fed.
Last summer, Second Harvest Food Bank distributed healthy prepared meals to rural areas in southern Lake County. This program, which fed 275 children, could be implemented on a wider scale by the passage of these bills and positively impact the health and well-being of children in our most underserved areas.
We urge Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to support the following three bills and help ensure every child has access to the nutritious meals they need to grow, learn and thrive. Please join us in reaching out to your Senators on the three bills below.
- Hunger Free Summer for Kids Act of 2019 (S.1918)
- Summer Meals Act of 2019 (S.1908)
- Stop Child Summer Hunger Act of 2019 (S.1941)