ALACHUA COUNTY ‒ Children 18 years old and younger can receive free breakfast and lunch during the summer months through the Alachua County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) department.

The Summer Meals Program, funded by the federal government, is open to any child regardless of family income. The meals are served at more than 70 sites, including local schools and other locations.

Children do not have to be enrolled at a particular school or program to receive meals. They also do not have to be eligible for free and reduced-price meals during the regular school year to take advantage of the program. Children do need to eat the meal on-site, and families going to schools for meals are asked to check in at the front office.

“Families can take their children to the site that’s most convenient for them,” said Jamie Lovett, Director of the district’s Food and Nutrition Services department. “They just show up during the serving times and enjoy a nutritious meal, with no registration required.”

The Summer Meals Program provides nutritionally balanced meals to all children during summer vacation when school breakfasts and lunches are not available. All children 18 years old and younger are eligible, and families can take advantage of the program at any of the local sites. Baby formula, cereal and food are also available, although families should call the FNS office at 352-955-7539 two days ahead of time to make those arrangements.

New this summer will be several mobile sites, one each in Alachua, Archer, East Gainesville and High Springs and four stops in Hawthorne. At those sites, families can pick up food twice a week to cover seven days’ worth of meals combined. Participants will receive a bag containing ingredients to prepare at-home meals for breakfast and lunch. The five sites are the only locations that allow for families to pick up meals to prepare at home.

Most sites will be up and running the week of June 3, 2024, with several running through July 26. The dates and times that meals will be served will vary from site to site. Details are available at www.yourchoicefresh.com Click on the banner labeled ‘Free Summer Meals’ or call 352-955-7539.

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