The Florida Department of Agriculture is providing funding to make and distribute meals to food-insecure students in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. The school systems are distributing ‘grab and go’ meals each day. Students pick up the two meals each day and take them home with them: one for lunch and one for breakfast the next day.
However, the program does not provide meals for the students’ family members who live with them who also food-insecure.
4Roots, the nonprofit entity sponsoring the new Feed the Need Florida program, will come alongside the local public school systems across Orange County and the state of Florida to provide donated meals to those families.
Feed the Need Florida Is made up of a network of local restaurants, hotels and hospitality industry organizations.
The donation sites that are in need are determined by the Florida Department of Agriculture.
"This partnership is a perfect example of... leverag(ing) food service, hospitality, corporate, and government resources to fill critical gaps in food supply, said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried.
The hospitality and restaurant businesses donate the food supplies, a 25,000-square-foot warehouse space activated by 4Roots receives and stores it, and a 4 Rivers 8,000-square-foot commissary kitchen space along with the kitchens inside the 14 statewide locations of 4Rivers are used to make meals.
Distribution is handled by The 4R Restaurant Group, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Department of Agriculture.
As the program expands, Feed the Need Florida will develop a network of restaurant and catering partners to serve the anticipated growing need to address community hunger.