Ace Padian, Chair
ace.padian (at) networktoendhunger.org
Working with Pinellas County School Food Services to identify sites for mobile food service trucks to provide food to school kids during the summer. Goal: To reach kids who need summer food but cannot get to a stationary BreakSpot site. Progress Notes: In summer 2016 we launched our pilot at three sites in south St. Petersburg. We will continue those sites and expand to two to five others, targeting community garden sites in particular, in summer 2017.
55,000 children in Pinellas County receive free and reduced lunch during the school year. But during the summertime, less than 20% of them participate in the related summer feeding programs, primarily because they do not have safe transportation to the summer food sites.
To address this problem, the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger is launching a pilot program to expand summer feeding spots to areas where kids actually hang out and can safely get to during the summer months. Working with Mamie Jackson of the United Way, who runs the Walking School Bus program at Campbell Park Elementary in St. Petersburg and is intimately familiar with where neighborhood children live and play, the Network has identified three places where kids in the Campbell Park area can easily and safely go during the summer months to get lunch at a mobile feeding site. The mobile SFSP service provides a hot lunch that includes an entrée, milk, juice, and fresh fruit, and they also have activity sheets to keep the children engaged. They will serve any child 18 and under and have tents to shelter the kids in case of rain.
The three new sites will be:
- Citrus Grove Apartments, 731 15th Street South, St. Petersburg
- Silver Lake Park, 11th Avenue South between 13th and 14th Streets South, St. Petersburg
- Area in front of Bartlett Park Community Garden, 1443 Highland Street South, St. Petersburg (off Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S. and between 14th and 15th Avenues South)
We plan to study these sites and determine how to scale the pilot to expand to other sites in the coming summers so that we can get as many children fed as possible during the summer.