Florida sets up call center to help families find free meals for children under 18

Florida sets up call center to help families find free meals for children under 18
(Source: WBRC)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have partnered with 211 to activate a text line and call center open 24/7 t help families find free meals for children under 18.

Schools are currently closed through at least April 15th, leaving many who rely on free or reduced-price food from their schools in a dangerous position. But now there’s help.

Families can now text FLKIDSMEALS to 211-211 to find their closest participating Summer breakspot location, and can also call 211 to speak with a live operator 24 hours a day for additional locations.

The Summer Food Service Program, also known as Summer breakspot, provides free meals to children under 18 when school is out. Last weekend, Commissioner Nikki Fried also announced that federal waivers had been approved giving the department authority to offer local school districts flexibility in providing meals to students during this closure.

As of March 20, there are approximately 1,000 approved Summer breakspot sites statewide. The number of locations will continue to increase as the department approves additional breakspot locations. Manatee and Sarasota counties will be in operation the week of March 23.

If no Summer breakspot locations are listed in a county during a given week, the department says families should contact their local school district to determine if school meals will be available. Families can also contact locations listed on the Summer breakspot map, or provided by 211 text or phone operator, to confirm opening dates and times.

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