UPDATED: Commissioner Nikki Fried Activates Children’s Meals Website for COVID-19 School Closures

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Mar 16, 2020

Tallahassee, Fla. – Yesterday, Agriculture Commissioner Nicole “Nikki” Fried and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) activated their Summer BreakSpot website, where families can find free meals for children under 18 during the current coronavirus school closures. The meal locations may be found at SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com.

As of March 16, there are approximately 1,000 approved Summer BreakSpot sites statewide. The number of locations will continue to increase as FDACS approves additional BreakSpot locations. If no Summer BreakSpot locations are listed in a county during a given week, users should contact their local school district to determine if school meals will be available. Users should also contact locations listed on the Summer BreakSpot map to confirm opening dates and times.

The following counties are in operation the week of March 16: Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Broward, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Duval, Hamilton, Indian River, Jackson, Lafayette, Levy, Liberty, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Polk, Sumter, Suwannee, and Union.

The following counties will be in operation the week of March 23: Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Charlotte, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Leon, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Nassau, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, Suwannee, Union, Volusia, Walton, and Washington.

“Social distancing and avoiding crowded areas, like school cafeterias, are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. But we can’t let Florida’s children go hungry in the meantime,” said Commissioner Nikki Fried. “That’s why we’re activating our Summer BreakSpot locations, to offer families an alternative way to find healthy, nutritious meals. For many children, these meals will be the only meals they can count on. We’re encouraging families to take advantage of this service, and to check with their school districts on other meal options.”

The Summer Food Service Program, also known as Summer BreakSpot, provides free meals to children under 18 when school is out. Over the weekend, Commissioner Fried also announced that federal waivers had been approved giving FDACS authority to offer local school districts flexibility in providing school meals to students during this closure. In the 2018-19 school year, Florida’s schools served 286,734,316 school lunches, of which 245,782,422 were free or reduced lunches. These schools served 2,908,335 Florida students, of which 2,089,852 were students receiving free or reduced lunches. FDACS is the state agency that funds Florida’s school lunch program, through $1.3 billion in federal funding.

Floridians can visit SummerBreakSpot.FreshFromFlorida.com, enter their address, and search up to 50 miles to find participating free meal locations near them. Again, users should contact listed locations to confirm opening dates and times. For best results, users should enter their home address, and select their address from the drop-down results.

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