School Ends, Hunger Begins
This year, the Campaign Against Summer Hunger returned for its 6th year from April 1st until May 15th.
2019 Campaign Co-chairs: Terri Vitale and Tommy Bernstein
For many, the sounds of the last school bell represent months of carefree outdoor activities and time with family. But for kids who depend on school meal programs, that last school bell could signal the start of three long, hungry months at home with a bare pantry.
In Sarasota County, nearly 50 % of children participate in the free and reduced meal programs at school, and in DeSoto County, 100 % of children rely on these meals during the school year. When you include younger siblings, who are not yet in the school system this equates to 40,000 children at risk of hunger.
So, when school ends for the summer, how do these children find the help they need?
All Faiths Food Bank’s Campaign Against Summer Hunger has become our community’s strongest line of defense against child hunger. Last year, 203 partners and programs worked together to provide 35,947 children with almost 2.7 million meals. For last years full report click here. With the compassionate help of donors, volunteers and community partners, the food bank is determined to reach even more children, with more nutritious food.
Summer hunger is a problem we can solve together.
Ways you can join
- Backpacks provide kids with meals and snacks at different sites including libraries, summer camps, and early learning child centers.
- Mobile Pantries provide fresh produce, meats, and groceries to children and families.
- Nutrition Education at Learning Academies teaches families how to shop for and prepare healthy, low-cost meals.
- School Pantries provide families with fresh produce, meat, and groceries at schools.
- Partnerships with Sarasota and DeSoto County School District Food and Nutrition Services enhance the meal services they provide through the summer schools and other community sites where children attend.
Inaugural Walk to End Summer Hunger Campaign Kick Off
This year for the inaugural Walk to End Summer Hunger, over 400 Sarasota residents and visitors gathered on March 31st to kick off the Campaign Against Summer Hunger and raise awareness of child hunger over the summer.