The sweet sounds of summer vacation are echoing throughout Southwest Florida. Children’s laughter fills the air as they scoot down playground slides and swing from monkey bars. Their happy cheers resound while jumping like cannonballs into swimming pools and chasing each other in rousing games of hide-and-seek. These children spend the longer, school-free days with wide smiles and carefree spirits.
Sadly, for some children, there is a different sound that summer vacation brings: growling stomachs. Without school in session, families are facing the need to provide two additional meals each day. For children like Emma, who rely on the meals provided by schools, summertime disrupts that consistency, and these children are left wondering if they will get to eat breakfast and lunch, or spend the day hungry. The summer off-season here in Southwest Florida also impacts work schedules, and for families like Emma’s, diminished hours further compound the issue. It is harder to make ends meet.
Summer is a difficult time for your food bank as well. Not only is the amount of donated food that we are able to acquire at its lowest, but we also struggle to procure fresh, local produce—all the while, prices for food have increased, upwards of 25% or more, due to inflation. To further complicate matters, we experience logistical challenges during the summer months, as we must operate with fewer volunteers. Our changemakers are essential in the success of our food distribution operations, but many of them have returned to their northern homes to escape Florida’s brutal summer heat.
However, each year, your food bank rises to the challenge to meet summer hunger head on. Thanks to our Partner Agency Program, families like Emma’s have a way to find food in their communities during the summer. Our Partner Agency Program is a network of over 150 agencies across our five-county footprint that bridges the gap between the food bank and people who are hungry. As trusted extensions of our mission, we provide our partner agencies roughly 70% of their food inventory.
Can we count on you to make a gift to support our Partner Agency Program in the fight against summer hunger? By making a monthly gift, you are fighting hunger all year long.
Together, we can make a difference in our community and ensure that no child has to go hungry.