HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A $60,000 grant from no kid hungry to the Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando counties will help ensure that over 2,500 kids have at least three meals a day for the remainder of the summer.
On Tuesday afternoon, nine pallets of 100 boxes were delivered to the ELC Hernando main campus.
Inside each box, several items for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snack items headed to child care centers, who’ve partnered with the coalition to provide meals to those kids in need.
Lisa Crossley is the owner of All Aboard Academy in Spring Hill.
While picking up 100 boxes, she told Bay News 9's Katya Guillaume, “It makes me want to cry, to be completely honest.”
Crossley said she has over 50 young kids at her child care center, so she takes in any, and all help she can get to help them.
“I probably have over 100 kids there," she continued to say, "And I would say there’s probably 80-85 that would be really excited about this.”
Early Learning Coalition Executive Director, Dr. Steve Knobl said the ELC services about 1,000 kids a day in Hernando county alone and their main goal is to make sure each kid has the tools they need to be successful.
The grant comes from the nonprofit 'No Kid Hungry', a national nonprofit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.
“We’re really excited to have this partnership with No Kid Hungry," Knobl said. "We wanted to be strategic with this purchase from the grant towards the end of the summer we know parents are struggling with buying back-to-school items and things like that, we felt like it was the best time to do it.”
Dr. Knobl told Bay News 9 that this is the second 60-thousand dollar donation the coalition’s received from ‘No Kid Hungry’ in under a year to help close the gap in kids living with food insecurities.
“Poverty is a huge issue," he said, "Not only in the pandemic but every day for so many of our families so to be able to provide these meals and have them not worry about feeding their children during this critical time in our history is really important.”
In this delivery service, a total of twenty-five hundred meals was distributed and the coalition is working on getting more grants to continue with this program to help combat child hunger in Hernando and Pasco counties.