How parents can find free meals for kids this summer in Escambia, Santa Rosa counties – Pensacola News Journal

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Summer season meal packages are getting underway to assist hold kids in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties fed as summer season ramps up.

This faculty yr, all college students throughout the nation have been supplied free meals from the federal authorities as a part of COVID-19 aid. As college students get out of faculty for the summer season, a variety of organizations are stepping in to proceed offering meals to these in want in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties.

One of many largest is Feeding the Gulf Coast, which helps dozens of youngsters’s meal websites throughout the 2 counties. Any baby 18 and youthful can qualify for a meal at these websites and should be current to obtain the meals.

To search out the location closest to residence or work, dad and mom can name 888-704-FOOD (3663) or go to feedingthegulfcoast.org. In addition they can textual content “FoodFL” to 877-877.

Final summer season was a busy one for Feeding the Gulf Coast. Throughout the area, the group supplied 33 million meals to these in want.

“Even because it seems our communities are reopening and our economic system appears to be gaining some momentum, we all know that meals insecurity charges will stay excessive whilst we begin to enter restoration mode,” mentioned Kyle Schoolar, the group’s group engagement and advocacy supervisor.

The necessity this summer season probably nonetheless will likely be elevated, Schoolar mentioned. He mentioned in 2019, meals insecurity ranges have been simply starting to drop again right down to ranges earlier than the 2008 monetary disaster.

Escambia and Santa Rosa faculty districts supply meal packages

The Escambia County Faculty District will run its meals program by means of summerbreakspot.org. To search out close by meal packages, dad and mom can enter their location on the web site.

The district this yr additionally has an expanded summer season faculty program. Any scholar in summer season faculty, which begins Tuesday, will likely be supplied with a free breakfast and lunch as part of their common day.

The Santa Rosa County Faculty District will supply an expanded summer season meals program this yr. The district will present lunches from 11 a.m. to midday at a number of websites starting Monday, June 14. This system is open to any baby 18 or youthful.

Milton Excessive Faculty at 5445 Stewart St. will present free scorching lunches each weekday all through the summer season. The district additionally will present curbside chilly lunches to kids at Holley-Navarre Major Faculty at 8019 Escola St. in Navarre and Berryhilll Elementary at 4900 Berryhill Highway in Milton on Thursdays.

Every single day, climate allowing, dad and mom may count on a meals bus to be at Carpenter’s Park in Milton at 5254 Munson Freeway, handing out meals to kids.

Whereas the meals program is expanded this yr, the district’s director of kid vitamin, Leslie Bell, would not count on the necessity this summer season to be as extreme as summer season 2020, when many households have been dealing with unemployment.

“Final summer season, we did one million meals. I don’t anticipate that,” Bell mentioned. “I do anticipate a pair thousand every day, however final summer season, we have been doing about 20,000 per week. … I do not suppose that would be the similar factor this yr. You’ve got received individuals going again to highschool. Individuals going again to work. Eating places have opened.”

Escambia County meal websites

One Escambia County group is offering meals to kids even when they do not have a mother or father current with them.

Minister Evelyn Webber runs Membership Str8 Up, a free summer season camp on the Dorrie Miller Neighborhood Middle at 2819 N. Miller St. The camp offers meals to campers, in addition to any baby who involves the group heart for lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each weekday. The group plans at hand out about 30 meals per day.

“This can be a drop-in heart and the youngsters can are available in and simply need one thing to eat and we simply give them some meals,” Webber mentioned.

One meal web site that does not require youngsters to be current to obtain meals is Bellview Meeting of God at 2920 W. Michigan Ave., which has about 400 meals obtainable every day.

Organizers there ask the grownup what number of kids 18 and youthful they want meals for earlier than offering them meals, so that oldsters can choose up meals for the kids of different households who may lack transportation.

The positioning runs from 10 a.m. to midday Monday by means of Thursday and offers breakfast and lunch. On Thursdays, households obtain double meals to assist cowl Friday.

The church additionally offers double sandwiches in every of its meals as a result of employees and volunteers seen one tends to not be sufficient for rising kids.

“Numerous instances only one serving is not fairly sufficient meals,” mentioned pastor secretary Darla Unterzuber. “We ensure that they’ve sufficient meals so they are not hungry.”

Madison Arnold will be reached at marnold@pnj.com and 850-435-8522.

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