Last Monday, June 5th, our 10th annual, award-winning, Summer Food Program for Children began distributing hot lunches, breakfasts, and snacks to kids living in low-income areas across Central Florida.
During the long summer recess, children are unable to participate in the free school lunch program since cafeterias are closed. That’s when the Summer Food Program helps bridge the nutritional gap.
In our first week, over 40,000 meals were transported to 81 locations in 6 counties. Approximately 5,000 children were offered free meals every day. With 9 more weeks to go, our work is cut out for us. Read More …June 8, 2017
Monday, June 6th started the first day of the food bank’s Summer Feeding Program. This program, hitting its 10th year, works with local partners to feed kids over the summer months, a time when they lose access to the meals that school provided.
To meet the need of thousands of kids, our production kitchen team has been busy producing nearly 9,000 meals a day. These meals support 65 – 70 meal sites this summer, and help feed kids of all ages. Read More …June 8, 2017
“Mmmm this is the best cheese I’ve ever had!”
“Look, there’s chicken, and ham, AND cheese AND bread!!”
“Oh yeah, this gets a thumbs up!… no, a double thumbs up!!”
These were just some of the reactions I overheard during a Kids Cafe Focus Group I had the opportunity to attend last Wednesday, May 31st at Goldenrod Recreation Center.
Second Harvest Food Bank’s Kids Cafe is an after-school meal service program that provides food for needy children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties, providing quick access to meals at the end of the school day. Kids Cafe Focus Groups help the food bank’s chefs hone in on, not only the most nutritious food they can distribute to kids in our community, but what kids enjoy most as well. Read More …May 26, 2017
Last summer, a co-worker and I were at the Holden Community Center for an event. The majority of people there were children ranging from elementary to high school. School was starting soon, and they were there with a parent to receive book bags and assorted items for the upcoming school year.
While we sat at our table, a teenaged boy, probably late middle school to high school age, passed by our table. The words that came out of his mouth were unforgettable.
“Thank you,” he said. I was taken off guard with his statement and downplayed my confusion to reply, “You’re very welcome, for…”
The teenaged boy smiled and explained that every day, the Second Harvest Meals for Good food trucks came by his neighborhood to feed him, and he really loved the food. He then thanked me again for what I did for kids like him.
Our organization quickly embraced America’s Second Harvest’s (what is now Feeding America) Kids Cafe Program soon after it was conceived in 1993. Since then, over 60 different locations in four counties have benefited from this prepared meal program.
- Since 1993, over 2.2 million meals have been served.
- 33% of those in the last 3 years.
- From inception to 2015, prepared meals were purchased from an external vendor.
- In October of 2015, our production kitchen began delivering cold meals.
- In February of 2016, we partnered with Orange County Parks & Recreation to provide meals to their 12 after school centers!
- In August of 2016, our kitchen began serving hot meals.
- Last December, we opened up our first Kids Cafe in Brevard County.
- Just last month, we opened up our second Brevard Kids Cafe.
- Today, we serve over 1,400 kids each day at 27 different locations in 4 counties.View a Map of current sites.