This past weekend, a Summer Food Program geared towards giving free healthy lunches to children younger than 18 in the Jacksonville area was launched at Philip Randolph Heritage Park.
In fact, Joey Heymann, executive director of the Jacksonville Children’s Commission, went to the Jacksonville City Hall in an effort to request $500,000 in funding for the commission’s summer camp program, which has recently faced budget cuts by the city.
At the park, the program not only gave over 300 Jacksonville youth free meals, it also allowed them the opportunity to explore the one of the city’s firetrucks, dance to music from a DJ, and meet Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard. This is not the first time the organization has had an event like this. In fact, this is the 21st year they have been helping give healthy lunches to youth in Jacksonville, and this past weekend marks over 438,000 meals served.
This year notably distinguishes itself from previous years. Instead of food only being available at one location, this year multiple venues have offered up their shop as a place where kids can find meals this summer while school is out. Specifically, over 200 Jacksonville churches, apartment complexes, libraries, schools and day-care centers will have food available until August 7th.
The Summer Food Service program comes in the wake of a huge population of kids not being able to receive their normal free breakfasts and lunches at school due to summer break.
According to Rev. Lee Harris, chairman of the commission’s board, “when school is out, that’s when a lot of children go hungry.”
This year, your local Jacksonville movers are happy to see that so many local children are receiving free meals. If you are new to the Jacksonville area and your child was receiving free meals at school and still needs meal assistance during the summer, check out the Jacksonville Children’s Commission website.