Summer of Dreams is a free, 10-week program for homeless children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties providing much needed resources and activities while school is out.
Founded by Fifth Third Bank in 2011, it addresses the needs of youngsters who might otherwise fall through the cracks.
Second Harvest Food Bank is pleased to partner with the city for the third consecutive year; making available over 62,000 pounds of kid-friendly food since the program’s initial launch.
Estimates of homeless children in Orange, Seminole and Osceola Counties range from 6,000* to 9,000. This population is characterized by its transient nature; making it difficult to quantify and even harder to reach.
Homelessness among children in Central Florida is not a recent phenomenon.
In 2001, a mother and child were discovered using a commercial storage unit in Casselberry as their only dwelling alternative.
Since 2011, The Summer of Dreams has helped a total of 2,281‡ homeless children living in shelters, motels, motor vehicles and even on the streets.
This past June 4th, the Summer of Dreams kick-off volunteer event was held at our new facility on Mercy Drive.
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In an effort to address the problem last summer, Second Harvest Food Bank, by way of its Summer Food Service Program, provided 6,800 free lunches and afternoon snacks to children at motels and apartment complexes that house families in transition. Among them Remington Inn in Altamonte Springs, America’s Best Inn, Home Suite Homes in Osceola County and Willow Lake Apartments in Apopka.
* United Way Heart of Florida Estimate http://www.hfuw.org/Spotlight.php
† Orange, Seminole and Osceola County SOD attribution. http://www.thesummerofdreams.com/
‡ Summer Of Dreams 2013 – http://www.thesummerofdreams.com
Childhood Hunger Programs Manager
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida