In Central Florida, one in four children is at risk of going to bed hungry. Sadly, hunger can dramatically impact a student’s ability to perform well in school and affect their interest in engaging with the world around them. Thanks to the National School Lunch Program, many students are able to access free breakfast and lunch during the school week. However, many of these students return to school on Monday with empty stomachs and are unable to concentrate on their lessons.
In 2016, Lake Cares Food Pantry, one of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida’s feeding partners, took over a weekend backpack program at Triangle Elementary School in Mt. Dora. Many of the families that access its main pantry have students who attend the school, where 86% of the students participate in the National School Lunch Program. Each week, Lake Cares provides 35-40 backpacks filled with peanut butter, jelly, bread, fruit cups, snacks and other non-perishable items.
The school recently honored Lake Cares for its support and partnership. The students presented Irene O’Malley with handmade cards expressing their gratitude. Irene was most impressed by the student’s understanding of hunger and awareness of how Lake Cares is here to help them succeed.
Learn more about Second Harvest Food Bank’s programs for kids: http://www.feedhopenow.org/site/PageServer?pagename=how#kids
Photos below courtesy of Triangle Elementary.