School is out and kids across the Bay area are rejoicing.
- Summer food drive in Pinellas County
- Food banks pantries are low, organizers say
- Find out more about: Pinellas Community Foundation
But for parents and struggling families, it can be a difficult time since school is a place where many kids get nutritious meals. When school ends, those children are at a greater risk of going hungry. There is a push, however, to try to make sure no child goes hungry this summer.
Organizers in Clearwater have partnered with Regions Bank locations across Pinellas County for a summer food drive. Officials with the Pinellas Community Foundation say one in four kids in the community experience food insecurity, so anything community members can give will help.
The Florida Dream Center and UMCM Suncoast are also involved in the partnership.
"We have 36,000 children in our community alone that have the issue of hunger. That number is astounding to think of that," said Pinellas Community Foundation's Executive Director Duggan Cooley.
Cooley said many families are burdened by the costs of housing and higher electric bills over the summer months. He said there is often just not enough money for food.
"Food banks and food pantries are very low," Cooley said. "And we're in the store house of the Florida dream center here, usually when times are much better and they have more supply. They can provide three to four days of food for families in need, and right now the supply is tight enough it's down to one to two days of food for families. And that simply isn't enough."
The summer food drive runs through July 15.
Residents can drop off non-perishable food items at any Regions Bank in Pinellas County.
Cash donations can be made by texting "ihelped" to 41-444. The foundation will match the first $20,000 donated.