SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) -About 50% of the students who attend Sarasota County School District are eligible for free or reduced meals. During the summer months those students rely on summer meal programs to stay fed.
All Faiths Food Bank usually works with about 220 agencies to help feed kids during the summer through many programs. But, this year because of COVID-19 about 50% of those partners won’t be offering those programs. The reason for that is because the agency either isn’t open or because of social distancing guidelines. Of the agencies that are offering summer meal programs, some have had to reduce the amount of kids in their program because of the virus, like the Boys and Girls Club.
All Faiths Food Bank continues to see a spike in need for food throughout the county due to the pandemic. The food bank plans to see the high level of need continue for the next eight to ten months.
“I really want people to remember that this is a long term sustained rebuilding of our economy and our community. That we are not through this yet and that support and encouragement it will be needed through this year and into next year. To support a long term sustained response to Coronavirus," said Sandra Frank, who is the CEO of All Faiths Food Bank.
Sarasota County School District will continue to offer summer meal programs every Friday through July 31st. More details about what schools offer the summer meals can be found here.
All Faiths Food Bank has a food finder which is updated everyday with information about where summer meal programs are throughout the county as well as other food distribution sites. Click here for the food finder.