Movin' Meals delivers nutrition and smiles to children over the summer
For the fourth summer in a row, Hillsborough County Public Schools’ Student Nutrition Services provides meals to the county’s migrant communities throughout the summer. Student Nutrition Services staff members are delivering breakfast and lunch to many neighborhoods via brightly colored and kid-friendly themed “food buses” called Movin’ Meals. The Movin’ Meals buses not only deliver the food, they also offer room for the children to sit in air-conditioned comfort while they enjoy their meals. In addition, two other refrigerated box trucks deliver box meals to community sites with summer programs.
During the academic year, many children from low-income families get their only nutritious meals at school, where they are eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. Summertime can add stress for families who are already struggling to make ends meet. This initiative provides nutritionally balanced meals to children regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender or national origin during the summer vacation when school breakfast and lunch are not available. All children 18 years old and younger are eligible.
Noemi Medrano and Jackeline Sanchez, who both work for Student Nutrition Services at Freedom high school during the school year, welcome and enjoy the change of scenery in the summer as they drive and work on one of the customized Movin’ Meals buses. Their friendly greetings and ready smiles for the children make it evident that they love their job! For Jennifer Kennedy and Suzanne Johnson, who teach Head Start at the San Jose Mission in the summer, the bus offers an essential tool for social and academic success for their very young students. Good eating habits not only promote physical well-being but academic health as well, so their students are escorted to the bus and encouraged to eat the well-balanced and nutritious meals each day.
This mobile summer meal program runs from Monday through Friday until August 7, 2015. For more information about Movin’ Meals, visit www.sdhc.k12.fl.us and search “go SNS” and click on the resources tab or call Student Nutrition Services at (813) 840-7092. For information about the USDA Summer Food Service Program “BreakSpot”, go to http://www.summerfoodflorida.org/.
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