Free lunches for kids through summer program - FOX 13 News

Free lunches for kids through summer program

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

School is out, summer is here, and for many families, that brings big concerns about how they'll feed their kids.

During the school year, students are given free breakfast and lunch. In Hillsborough County, 60 percent of students qualify for free lunches.

"Those same kids need to eat during the summer," explains Mary Kate Harrison, GM of Student Nutrition Services for Hillsborough County.

So for the 20th year, Hillsborough County is offering its summer food program. This summer, they expect to prepare 12,000 lunches, 3,000 breakfasts, and 15,000 afternoon snacks.

Kids don't even have to be a part of the summer school program.

"Any child can come to us, go to any site, take advantage of the summer program. They do not have to be enrolled in the program," Harrison said.

It is completely free, paid for by the federal government. Any child under the age of 18 can go to one of the school sites, or one of the 84 city or county Parks and Recreation sites.

The Hillsborough County School District is even bringing the food to the kids. The Food Bus is driving out to the county's migrant community.

"This is the first time this year that we're doing it with the school buses and doing it organized with the box breakfast and the box lunches, " says Teri Krage, with Student Nutrition Services.

They set up at four different sites in Dover, Wimauma, Ruskin and Plant City.

"It's very important that these children get fed everyday, because a lot of them, with as much moving around that they do, their parents do with their jobs, they don't always necessarily get a good balanced breakfast or lunch or any kind of food at all," Krage said.

On Monday, the first day of the food bus, they had 150 prepared breakfast boxes. But the response was so overwhelming, they needed 50 more.

"We're ready to get them out there and get fed wake up their brains, if they get their brains woken up, they learn better and function better," Krage said.

The Summer Food Service program will run Monday through Thursday, from June 11 to August 10. Parents or guardians should call individual sites to verify if they are providing lunch and breakfast and verify meal times.

Food Bus Locations:

RCMA Dover

3238 San Jose Mission Rd. Dover

Breakfast 8am-8:30

Lunch 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


RCMA Wimauma Groves

5316a Sun Paradise Ct. Wimauma

Breakfast 8 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Lunch 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


RMCA Grove Point

129 Laguna Oak Pl. Ruskin

Breakfast 9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Lunch 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.


RMCA Westside Village

3102 Sammonds Rd. Plant City

Breakfast 9 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Lunch 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.


List of Locations for other summer food programs:


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