Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - UPDATE - November 20, 2018 


The death toll rises in a deadly shooting at a Chicago hospital. Also on the Tuesday rundown: community health centers rise to the challenge after wildfires; plus food inspectors can keep your Thanksgiving meal hearty and healthy

Daily Newscasts

For Some FL Kids, Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Break

GRAPHIC: A new report on Summer Nutrition Programs shows Florida and other states doing a better job of helping kids access nutritious food while school is out for the summer, but it also says more can be done. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
GRAPHIC: A new report on Summer Nutrition Programs shows Florida and other states doing a better job of helping kids access nutritious food while school is out for the summer, but it also says more can be done. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture.
July 16, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - For thousands of Florida children, the joy of summer vacation may be overshadowed by the pangs of hunger. Statewide, about 174,000 kids received summer meals in 2013, according to a new summer nutrition status report by the Food Research and Action Center. But compare it to the 1.2 million kids who receive free and reduced-price lunches during the school year.

That leaves Rebecca Brislain, executive director of the Florida Association of Food Banks, concerned that many needy children aren't receiving help in the summer.

"Summertime is the worst," said Brislain. "Kids are out of school. And if you don't have a summer feeding program in their communities, then that's two additional meals per child."

According to the Food Research and Action Center, Florida is among the top five states that missed out on the most federal funding for summer meal programs, which could have fed 312,000 additional children. The report does show Florida's participation in summer nutrition programs rose to 25th in the nation in 2013 from 27th.

Signe Anderson, a child nutrition policy analyst with the Food Research and Action Center said getting more schools on board will help.

"During the economic downturn, a lot of schools shut their doors and no longer offer summer school," said Anderson. "Along with that, the summer meals disappeared. If there's funding available for summer school or just summer programming in general, that would go a long way."

Brislain said current federal rules for administering summer nutrition programs sometimes make it difficult to distribute food.

"If we can make it easier for some of these community-based sites to provide access to this program," said Brislain, "if we can make it easier for them to offer this program in the community, we can make it easier for kids to get food."

The report recommended more involvement from local municipalities, parks and recreation departments, local YMCAs, and Boys & Girls Clubs.

Read the report Hunger Doesn't Take A Vacation, from the Food Research and Action Center.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - FL