Making sure kids don’t go hungry during summer break

For some children, the meals they eat during the school day are their only source of nutrition.

So, when schools close for the summer, there’s a chance that they could go hungry.

The Summer Break Spot takes aim at that issue.

Gail Hohensee serves meals and Lee Beville drives the bus in a program that aims at ensuring that children don’t go hungry when school’s not in session. (B.C. Manion)

The program, also known as the Summer Food Service Program, is a federal nutrition program operated by schools and local nonprofits to make sure that children have an opportunity to receive meals during the summer months.

Through the program, although schools are not in session, there are many places across Pasco County where children under the age of 18 can have a free breakfast, lunch or snack.

No application is needed at the sites operated by Pasco County Schools.

Any child 18 or younger is eligible for a free meal during serving times.

Adults or a responsible teen are asked to accompany the children receiving meals because the school district does not have a large staff to oversee the program.

No transportation is provided to the site.

The free breakfast consists of one serving of milk, one serving of a fruit and/or vegetables and one serving of grains.

This colorful bus makes the rounds in Zephyrhills, providing free breakfast, lunch and snacks to those 18 and under during the summer months. Children can eat inside the air-conditioned bus, or sit at shaded tables next to it.

The free lunch includes one serving of milk, one serving of grains and one serving of protein.

The free snack includes one serving of milk, one serving of fruits and vegetables, one serving of grains and one 1 serving of protein.

Lee Beville, a bus driver who is working in the program for the first year, said he drives a bus to deliver lunch to Pretty Pond and Wire Road, and at Zephyr Park.

“The people who come are super appreciative,” he said. “We get a lot of people — they don’t know what they would do if they didn’t have this.”

The numbers are going up, said Gail Hohensee, who serves the meals. “It helps them a lot.”

Different locations offer meals on different days and different times. Here’s a partial listing of Pasco County meal locations:

  • Pine View Elementary, 5333 Parkway Blvd., Land O’ Lakes
  • Glorious Church Mobile, 20714 Center St., Lacoochee
  • Pasco Elementary, 37350 Florida Ave., Dade City
  • Cypress Manor Mobile, 20737 Evergreen Court, Dade City
  • Hilltop Landings Mobile, 15641 14th St., Dade City
  • John S. Burkes Memorial Park, 13220 Gene Nelson Blvd., Dade City
  • Arbours Mobile, 12861 Stately Oak St., Dade City
  • Hugh Embry Library, 14215 Fourth St., Dade City
  • Rodney B. Cox Elementary, 37615 Martin Luther King Blvd., Dade City
  • Lake George Mobile, 15246 Davis Loop, Dade City
  • Farm Workers Self Help, 37124 Lock St., Dade City
  • Community Garden, 15029 14th St., Dade City
  • James Irvin Civic Center, 38122 Martin Luther King Blvd., Dade City
  • Lacoochee Boys & Girls Club, 38724 Mudcat Grant Blvd., Dade City
  • Academy at the Farm, 9500 Alex Lange Way, Dade City
  • Centennial Elementary, 38501 Centennial Road, Dade City
  • Centennial Middle, 38505 Centennial Road, Dade City
  • Pasco High, 36850 State Road 52, Dade City
  • Pasco Middle, 13925 14th St., Dade City
  • Double Branch Elementary, 3500 Chancey Road, Dade City
  • Pasco Woods, 6135 Ryerson Circle Wesley Chapel
  • New River Lakes, 4944 Prairie View Way, Wesley Chapel
  • New River Library, 34043 State Road 54, Wesley Chapel
  • New River Elementary, 4710 River Glen Blvd., Wesley Chapel
  • Quail Hollow Elementary, 7050 Quail Hollow Blvd., Wesley Chapel
  • Watergrass Elementary, 32750 Overpass Road, Wesley Chapel
  • Wesley Chapel Elementary, 30243 Wells Road, Wesley Chapel
  • Cypress Creek Middle High, 8701 Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel
  • Weightman Middle School, 30649 Wells Road
  • Raymond B. Stewart Middle, 3805 10th Ave., Zephyrhills
  • Zephyr Park, 5039 Fourth St., Zephyrhills
  • Pretty Pond, 38510 Pretty Pond Road, Zephyrhills
  • Zephyrhills Library, 5347 Eighth St., Zephyrhills
  • Zephyrhills YMCA, 37301 Chapel Hill Loop, Zephyrhills
  • Village Chase Apartments, 39216 Village Chase, Zephyrhills
  • West Zephyrhills Elementary, 37900 14th Ave., Zephyrhills
  • Woodland Elementary, 38203 Henry Drive, Zephyrhills
  • Chester W. Taylor Elementary, 3628 Morris Bridge Road, Zephyrhills
  • Zephyrhills High, 6335 12th St., Zephyrhills

The program also operates in Hillsborough County.

To find out specifics on when the sites are open and where additional sites are located, visit  http://summerbreakspot.freshfromflorida.com/, or go to su.lf1537750758.21k.1537750758ocsap1537750758@snf1537750758.

Published June 20, 2018

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