County Launches Summer Food Service Program

By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County Public Schools and the Hillsborough County Family and Aging Services will once again join forces to take on the responsibility of feeding children while out of school this summer.

According to Hillsborough County officials, by participating in the Summer Food Service Program, going on June 12-August 9, Hillsborough County will provide free nutritious lunches and afternoon snacks to children at more than 40 sites throughout Hillsborough County including the Boys & Girls Club in Brandon and Riverview and the Brandon Rec Center.

“These sites are in geographical areas of where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free or reduced price meals during the school year,” said Hillsborough County Family and Aging Services project Coordinator, Amy Carrier. “This is a federal program that has been in existence for the past three decades, several of which the county has been sponsoring,”

The purpose of the Summer Food Program is to provide a balanced meal regardless of race, color, sex, disability, age, national origin or income during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available.

Carrier said that too often, many children are left searching for unhealthy foods to eat when their parents are working or not in the home.

“When there is not enough food to go around, their nutritional needs are not met and their choices are not always the best,” she said.

Applications or eligibility, summer camp or summer school registration is not a requirement.

Summer Food Program sites are located at schools and other locations in the community to provide meals to all children in the surrounding area, in addition to those enrolled in summer school.

Any child age 18 and under can visit a participating site to eat a free lunch and/or afternoon snack.

The Summer Food Service Program for Children is federally funded and operated by the Hillsborough County Family and Aging Services Department. In accordance with Federal law, and US Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

If any site is interested in serving as a host site, call 272-5160.

The summer food location sites can be found under the 2013 Summer Food Program Locations link on the right-hand side of the Social Service’s webpage:  http://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/socialservices. Contact Summer Food Program for Children, at 272-5160.