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Local Groups Work Together To Stave Off Child Hunger With Summer Food Program

America's Second Harvest of the Big Bend

For many students, summer spells out relaxation and vacation. However for some, summertime puts students in a bind. And for those who receive free or reduced-price lunch, school might be the only place they receive a guaranteed meal.

About one in five people are at risk for hunger in Leon County, according to a 2014 Feeding America study.

Several Tallahassee organizations have joined together to feed these students over the summer.

The program is called A Full Summer, and the goal is to raise $15,000 in order to give 60,000 meals to students and their families.

“It’s a terrible thing to consider a hungry child,” said Becky Liner on WFSU’s Perspectives program Thursday.

She is a member of the Tallahassee First Baptist Church, one of the sponsors for A Full Summer.

“We consider all of the children in this community to be our children,” she said. “We certainly see that in our volunteers; they want to take care of this community’s children.”

Jim Croteau, interim CEO of America’s Second Harvest of the Big Bend, said that there are misconceptions about how to best combat poverty.

Many of the people receiving aid from Second Harvest are not asking for “handouts,” he said.

“Almost 50 percent of the people who receive food through our efforts are the working poor. They are people making $10 an hour or less, or they’re seniors on a fixed retirement income, mainly social security,” he said. “When half of the people already are trying, we’re not giving a handout, but a hand up to help them.”

The Full Summer food packaging event will take place at Godby High School on June 4 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, visit www.afullsummer.org.

To listen to this Perspectives podcast, click here.