Schools have been struggling lately to offer healthier meal options for children attending their classes, in order to prevent childhood obesity, which is already on increase mode, from spreading. A lot of money has been invested in attaining that goal.
However, during the summer break, these efforts might go to the trash. Children are more exposed to unhealthy food and parents are more likely to allow them to eat junk food while on vacation. Thus, they are more inclined to become obese.
Thus, summer meals have been introduced in Florida. These include the Seamless Summer Option or National School Program and the Summer Food Program.
They basically offer children healthier meals during the summer holiday. This initiative might prove to have multiple advantages, as it gives students both the possibility to have a more balanced diet and the opportunity to engage in various educational activities that the school offers. Therefore, a healthy mind in a healthy body becomes more than a cliché.
The Florida Summer Food Service Program also allows children coming from poor families to have a chance at better nutrition and educational programs. In order to do this, SFSP reimburses the money spent on healthy meals for students under 18. This way, families receive some support in feeding their children as well.
This reimbursement program was designed because it might be difficult for some children to walk to school, especially if the distances are big. “There are no school buses for summer food,” said chief executive of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida Dave Krepcho, who has been organizing summer meals for several years.
The Summer Food Service Program for Children aims at helping kids living in communities where at least 50 percent of the people live below what is considered to be the current poverty line.
The program is funded from money operated by U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Florida is not the only state that helps children in need. Feeding South Dakota’s Backpack Program that was initially implemented for the school year might also extend during the summer break. Almost 2,000 students benefit from nutritious meals that this program provides.
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