BY ANDREAS BUTLER
With more than 60 sites in 14 municipalities across Volusia County participating in a summer food program, there are plenty of places available now for local children in need to get free meals.
The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, runs though Aug. 9 and is being sponsored by the Volusia County Human Services Office. Children 18 and under are eligible.
Meals are served Monday through Friday, times vary depending on location. All sites are closed on July 4.
Most locations serve both breakfast and lunch while others just lunch.
‘A great need’
Local summer programs and organizations that participate in the program see the value in such a program.
“It’s absolutely a valuable program which serves a great need. We can even order extra meals for kids in the community who aren’t in our summer program who need to come over for a meal,” said Tangela Brown, unit director of the Daytona Beach Boys & Girls Club.
The club is housed in the Dickerson Community Center, 308 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The summer program at the center is now in session.
“There is a need in the community and other communities. There are families struggling to make ends meet. It’s always a big help to be able to get a meal. We don’t get a lot of the other children but children can come as long as they are school aged,” Brown added.
Have to eat there
Andrew Powell, site supervisor of the Yvonne Scarlett Golden Cultural and Educational Center in Daytona Beach echoed those statements. A summer program is underway there too.
“I think it’s a good thing. Kids who normally may not get to have a meal for whatever reason gets to have a chance to have one,” he told the Daytona Times. “Many kids are running around playing and need that energy. The thing is they have to eat it at the facility and can’t leave. They must also be of age.”
So far, the crowds haven’t been great where the summer programs are taking place.
“I haven’t seen a lot of kids from the community come in yet. We’ve had a few, but we’ve mainly had our kids in our summer program. Normally about half of our kids come to breakfast and lunch,” Powell related.
The program provides nutritionally balanced meals regardless of race, color, sex, disability or national origin during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available.
The program is located in geographical areas where 50 percent or more of the children qualify for free or reduced lunch during the school year.
There are locations participating in the program in Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, New Smyrna, DeLand and other municipalities.
Daytona Beach locations
- Boys & Girls Club John Dickerson, 308 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (through Aug. 2; closed July 1-5) Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Daytona Beach Regional Library, 105 E. Magnolia Ave. (through Aug. 9) Breakfast: 9 to 10 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Greater New Zion Primitive Baptist Church, 210 N. Martin L. King Jr. Blvd. (through Aug. 9) Breakfast: 8 to 10 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Hope Place Library, 1310 Wright St. (June 10-Aug. 9) Breakfast: 9 to 10 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Howard Thurman Historic Home, 614 Whitehall St. (June 19-July 3) Breakfast: 9 to 10 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- John H. Dickerson Heritage Library, 411 S. Keech St. (through Aug. 9) Breakfast: 9 to 10 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Midtown Cultural & Education Center, 925 George Engram Blvd. (through Aug. 2) Breakfast: 8 to 9 a.m., lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Northwood Community Center, 1200 Ninth St. (through Aug. 9) Breakfast: 9 to 10 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
- Rose Marie Bryon Children’s Center, 625 South St. (June 10-Aug. 2) Breakfast: 9 to 9:30 a.m., lunch: 11:30 a.m. to noon
- Salvation Army, 1555 LPGA Blvd. (through Aug. 2) Breakfast: 8:30 to 9 a.m.; lunch: 11:30 a.m. to noon
- Sunnyland Park, 825 Washington St. (through Aug. 2) Breakfast: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.; lunch: 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
- Yvonne Scarlett Golden Cultural and Educational Center, 1000 Vine St. (through Aug. 2) Breakfast: 8 to 9 a.m.; lunch: noon to 1 p.m.
For more information, contact Volusia County Human Services Office at 386254-4648 in Daytona Beach, 386-736-5956 in DeLand, or 386-423-3375 in New Smyrna Beach. Ask for extension 12980 or 12984.
To find other sites and meal serving times, select the “meal site locator” at www.summerbreakspot.org.