Lee County schools hosting event to kick off free summer food program

Published: June 7, 2022 6:56 AM EDT
Updated: June 15, 2022 2:51 PM EDT

Starting Tuesday, children can get free breakfast, lunch and snacks at 85 sites across Lee County through July 29, and an outdoor event is kicking off the free summer food program.

The free summer food program ‘Breakspot’ in Lee County offers free meals to kids every weekday through July 29.

The event will be at Paul Sanborn Park, located at 2310 SE 3rd St., from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and lunch will be provided to children 18 and younger from 11 a.m. to noon. There will be games and activities to celebrate the summer food program that will feed Lee County children (accompanied by parents) at sites including schools, churches and community centers. This effort extends to Charlotte and Collier counties, and the Summer BreakSpot website can be used to find locations.

Bringing kids to the park during summer break gives them a chance to play and a free lunch, courtesy of Lee County schools.

Leaders in the School District of Lee County nutrition department plan on giving out around 241,000 meals or snacks to students over the summer, and they’re especially excited for the kick-off event.

“We’re also partnering with some community partners: Cape Coral Parks and Rec will be there with their Fun-Mobile, UF/IFAS extension family nutrition program will be there doing an herb garden event for the kids, food service from the school district is going to have tons of giveaways,” said Amy Carroll, coordinator of special projects and student wellness for Lee County schools. “It’s really just a promotional event to bring awareness to our summer feeding program.”

District officials are just happy they can still provide free meals to students who typically rely on schools for much of their nutrition.

Caroll said, “Increasing prices, gas prices, food prices, we expect to see a greater turnout this year.”

Cape Coral resident Andrea Guerrero said, “the summer break spot program estimates they’ll be giving out about 200 thousand meals just this summer.”

“We just wanted to do something fun to kick off the summer and to make sure that the public knows that these meals are available to them, free of charge, for any child up to 18 years of age,” Carroll said. “Every day is gonna give them an entree of fruit, vegetable, milk and a little snack to go along with it. Because I want to make sure that, you know, they are given enough food, so both our breakfast and lunch menus are two-week cycles.”

Remember: This year, for the first time in two years, children must eat all of the food on-site and will not be able to take any of the food home.