Compiled by Michelle Colesanti,

Hillsborough Aims To Feed More Hungry Kids This Summer

Hunger doesn’t take the summer off. Neither do efforts to get food to the children who need it.

Hillsborough County is once again participating in the Summer Food Service Program, which provides free nutritious lunches and afternoon snacks to children at more than 50 sites throughout the county. In an effort to make sure no child goes without a meal, this year’s program has been lengthened by eight days, from Tuesday, May 30 to Friday, August 4.

The Summer Food Service Program will provide a balanced meal during summer vacation when school meals are not available. The meals and snacks will be offered at local parks and other community locations to children under 18. Applications are not required. Nearby approved sites can be found online, or for more information, email or call 276-8625.

The Summer Food Service program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered locally by Hillsborough County’s Aging Services. The department has expanded its “More than a Meal’’ concept to the summer program and, along with the food, will provide fun and interactive nutrition education to promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Also new this year: More “grab and go” meals that are ready to eat but also healthy.

Hillsborough County Fair Seeking Applicants For Harvest Awards

The Hillsborough County Fair is seeking nominations for this year’s Harvest Awards which will kick off the 2017 County Fair on Thursday, October 19 in the new air-conditioned fairgrounds pavilion east of Brandon on Hwy. 60 and Sydney Washer Rd. This is the 17th year the awards have been presented to the outstanding Farm Family and the Lifetime Achievement recipients for outstanding accomplishments and contributions in the field of agriculture in Hillsborough County.

Other categories include Outstanding Agribusiness, Outstanding Public & Community Service, Urban Agriculture/Agriculturist, Young Farmer/Rancher/Nurseryman who are 40 and under, and Outstanding Woman in Agriculture. A posthumous category is also available to honor an individual no longer living.

A total of five awards will be given during the luncheon in October. Receiving last year’s awards were the Roy Davis family, Tony Ippolito, Susan Dumke, Wish Farms, Lee and Mini Holcomb, and the Hillsborough County 4-H Foundation.

Saturday, July 1 is the submission deadline for nominations. Nomination forms are available at the County Extension Office, the Farm Bureau Office, Soil Conservation Office, Strawberry Growers Assoc. Office, and at

Forms can be submitted by email:, or mailed to: Harvest Awards, % Hillsborough County Fair, P.O. Box 100, Sydney, FL 33587. Call 737-3247.

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.