No children should worry about where their next meal comes from, which is why the Summer Breakspot (A Summer Food Service Program) staff pack thousands of breakfast and lunch sacks every day to serve at schools and other locations in Pasco County. They also load the meals on Summer Lunch Buses, which are retrofitted with lunch tables.
“When one little girl comes up to you and hugs you and says ‘thank you so much this might be the only meal I get today,’” said Megan Sexton, the Summer Food Service program coordinator and finance specialist for Pasco County Schools Food and Nutrition Services. “I didn’t even know this was existing in our county.”
In Pasco County, finding the next meal is a real issue. Statistics from the Pasco County School District show that close to 60% of all students get a free or reduced lunch, which is close to 41,000 students.
“Over the Summer, they have nothing to help them out,” said Sexton. The Summer Lunch Buses stop at more than 10 different locations like libraries and apartment complexes. They give free lunches to anyone 18 and under.
While the focus of the program is to keep bellies full, kids we spoke with say they've made new friends on the bus and that the whole experience is just plain fun.
The Summer Food Service Program is federally funded under the U.S Department of Agriculture. While the buses only serve free lunches, many locations offer free breakfasts as well. Last year the Summer Food Service Program served 106,742 breakfasts which is 3,398 for a daily average and 144,882 which is 4,600 for a daily average.
The bus schedule is listed below and for more information about the rest of the sites, visit the program's website.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a helpful site finder tool on its website to help families across the nation find summer feeding programs near them.
Dade City (Bus 1)Stop #1Arbours Apartments12861 Stately Oak Street, Dade City11:30 a.m. to noonStop #2Farm Workers Self-Help37124 Lock Street, Dade City12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.Stop #3Lake George Manor15246 Davis Loop, Dade City1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.Dade City (Bus 2)Stop #1Cypress Manor Apartments20637 Evergreen Ct., Dade City11:30 a.m. to noonStop #2Glorious Church37504 Trilby Road, Dade City12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.Stop #3Hilltop Landings Apartments15641 14th Street, Dade City1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.Holiday (Bus 1)Stop #1Weston Oaks Apartments1251 Weston Oaks Drive, Holiday11:15 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.Stop #212:45-1:15South Holiday Library4649 Mile Stretch Drive, HolidayNoon to 12:45 p.m.Stop #3Centennial Park Library5740 Moog Road, Holiday1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.Hudson (Bus 1)Stop #1Hudson Hills15902 Homewood Lane, Hudson11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.Stop #2Hudson Library8012 Library Road, Hudson12:45 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.Hudson (Bus 2)Stop #1Regency Park Library9701 Little Rd, New Port Richey11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.Stop #2Harbor Oaks Apartments12221 Holbrook Drive, Hudson12:30 p.m. to1 p.m.Stop #3Hudson Ridge Apartments12140 Hudson Ridge Road, Hudson1:15 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.