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School District's Free Summer Meal Program Returns

Published Friday, June 6, 2014 12:01 am

BRADENTON – Each summer the School District of Manatee County’s Food and Nutrition Services Department serves free meals to students 18 or younger as part of the Summer Food Service Program. Offered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Summer Food Service Program provides students the opportunity to enjoy a free breakfast and lunch five days a week, regardless of income status.

Manatee County Food and Nutrition Services served over 106,000 meals last summer and looks forward to serving even more this year. With an eye toward expanding the program, the Food and Nutrition Service Department will provide free meals to county and private summer programs like the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs. Also – for the first time – the program will have a Mobile Feeding Bus which will stop at areas where kids gather during the summer.

The bus will serve hot entrees along with fresh fruit and vegetables to kids in various locations around the county. Many of the favorite school menu items will be featured on the bus including chicken sandwiches, cheeseburgers, and chicken tenders.  The bus will have indoor and outdoor seating to allow kids to enjoy their meal in comfort of air conditioning or in the shade of an awning.

To find a location where free meals are served, just dial 2-1-1 or visit www.summerfoodflorida.org. Residents can also call the Professional Support Center at (941)-751-6550. There is also an app available to find summer feeding sites called “NutriSlice.”

Every summer feeding site in Florida is registered along with meal service times. Information on Mobile Feeding Bus stops can also be found at the above resources. Summer menus and more site location information can also be food at the Manatee County Food and Nutrition Service’s website: www.manateeschoolfood.net.

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