The aim of the Summer Feed and Read Program is to reduce hunger and reading loss during the summer months. The Feed and Read program provides nutrition, mentoring, and free books to low income children during the summer school break.
The Summer Feed and Read program mobilizes a network of community centers, churches and parks and recreation sites. Each site provides lunch for the children, half through the USDA Break Spot program and the other by utilizing their own center’s kitchen resources. Some centers may require participation in the program to work with the mentors, but some public sites will provide both books and meal packs weekly.
United Way also has reading mentors who volunteer at the Feed and Read sites. They provided one-on-one and group reading opportunities and encouraged independent summer reading. Each child will receive reading-level appropriate books to keep as a personal library. Last summer a total of 36,000 books were provided to the 4,000 participating children. Through our partnership with The Children’s Hunger Project back-pack meals went to the neediest children for at-home consumption.
Funding for the program began back in 2009 with a group of concerned citizens who began a special appeal called Project Hunger to ensure Brevard’s children didn’t go hungry over the summer months . . . when children did not have access to school lunches. Over the last 12 years, they raised nearly $1M – funding everything from refrigerated trucks and walk-in freezers ensuring food could be transported and stored.
While the committee never imagined there would still be so much need all these years later, they were committed to finding a long-term solution. That’s why the responsibilities of making sure kids don’t go hungry over the summer has been fully transitioned to United Way of Brevard (UWB) and The Children’s Hunger Project (TCHP).