County Agencies Join Forces To Feed Needy Students During Summer Months

By Tamas Mondovics

Thanks to a combined effort between Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Public Schools Student Nutrition Services (SNS), area students are promised to be well-fed during the summer break.

For starters, for the fourth year in a row Hillsborough County Public Schools Student Nutrition Services (SNS) “food buses” will feed the county’s migrant communities this summer.

According to school officials, two retired and renovated district school buses will be delivering meals into neighborhoods at a number of specific stops Monday through Friday, from now through Friday, August 7.

SNS emphasized that the arrangement provides both breakfast and lunch, and that the children can eat on the air conditioned buses.

Adding to the effort, the district is also renting two refrigerated trucks to deliver box meals to community sites with summer programs.

This initiative provides nutritionally balanced meals to children during the summer vacation when school breakfast and lunch are not available.  All children, 18-years-old and younger, are eligible.

Hillsborough County is also joining the campaign by participating in a Summer Food Service Program to provide nearly 500,000 free nutritious lunches and afternoon snacks to needy children at more than 50 sites throughout the county from county and city parks as well as Boys and Girls Clubs or recreation centers from Monday, June 8 through Friday, August 14.

County officials said that the sites are located in areas where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free or reduced price meals during the school year.

“The Summer Food Service Program will provide a balanced meal during summer vacation when school meals are not available,” said summer food project coordinator Amy Carieer.

Last year, on average more than 4,000 meals were saved daily, showing the importance of the provision.

The program is federally funded and operated by the Hillsborough County Department of Aging Services. A list of approved sites can be found under the Summer Food Service Program link at www.HillsboroughCounty.org/SummerFood.