Filling the Summer Meal Gap

This summer thousands of families are planning beach trips and theme park vacations in Central Florida. But other families in the tourist capital of the world are making a different kind of summer plan, one that involves where their next meal will come from. For low-income families who rely on school for regular meals, summer is a time of hunger and anxiety. Research shows that grocery costs rise more than $300 a month when school is out, putting added stress on already tight budgets.

Thelisha feels the added pressure of providing for her son, Malik, during the summer months. She is a single mother who often works 12 hours days at a local nonprofit. It is an additional stressor to know that from the end of May until mid-August she has additional expenses for meals and childcare to factor into her budget.

She has found a tremendous amount of support at Midway Safe Harbor in Sanford, one of 99 partners participating in Second Harvest’s Summer Food Service Program. At Midway, Malik participates in tutoring, sports and, most importantly, has a good meal.

“No matter how long my day goes, I know Malik will have a healthy meal,” adds Thelisha. “I’ve seen the food they eat here. It looks so good that some days I wish I could join him for lunch.”

Like many kids, Malik looks forward to pizza day. The whole-grain pizza is topped with turkey pepperoni, a healthy swap. He is also a fan of chicken and waffles. Both meals are served with a green salad or other vegetables, fruit, and choice of milk.

Thelisha is grateful for supporters like you who embrace the community and ensure children like Malik have access to healthy food all summer long. Thank you for fighting hunger and feeding hope for kids and families this summer.

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