The Summer Feeding program of All Faiths Food Bank in Sarasota, FL isn’t just one initiative. It is a combination of multiple diverse tactics with one goal in mind: get more healthy food to children in need. It’s a comprehensive approach to feeding more kids by addressing common barriers to food access:
Barrier: Parents and caretakers are reluctant to send their children off to a meal site because for safety reasons.
All-Faiths Solution: The food bank is partnering with the school district to provide food not only to children, but their families as well. Parents can now participate in the meal program. So far this summer, they’ve seen an increase of 60% more children reached through serving entire households.
Barrier: Mobile pantries at schools are unavailable when school is out of session.
All-Faith Solution: All Faiths is expanding its mobile pantry distributions at more school sites throughout the summer when demand increases. This ensures no meals are lost to families that depend on this resource when school is still in session.
Barrier: I want my children to eat healthy, but there’s no grocery stores in my community.
All-Faiths Solution: Sprout is a mobile produce distribution truck with children in mind. Fresh fruits and veggies are shared in food deserts and neighborhoods with little access to fresh produce. Think of it as a farmer’s market on wheels.
Barrier: During the school year, my kids have access to weekend backpack programs, but that ends when school is out.
All-Faiths Solution: All Faiths now offers its BackPack and SnackPack programs at its summer feeding sites.
All Faiths builds all of its interventions and selected program sites based on its data and insights to ensure that it’s make a high impact, especially when children are out-of-school.
Unfortunately these barriers are not exclusive to Florida. The great news is that they all have solutions and our network is committed to closing the meal gap and creating a truly Hunger-Free Summer.
*Brady Koch is the director of program capacity at Feeding America.