FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – Beginning on Tuesday, June 7, Florence City Schools (FCS) will begin their annual Summer Feeding Program.
The Feeding the Falcons initiative began in 2020 when schools were forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This allowed families to pick up meals from various locations around the city.
In 2021, FCS unveiled the Falcon Feeder Food Truck that could continue to feed families by going to them. The 2022 schedule has been scaled back in comparison to 2021, but the mission is still the same: to see that no child goes hungry during summer.
News 19 spoke with the Child Nutrition Program Coordinator for Florence City Schools, Tara Talmage about the program. “It will be a pick up and go situation with us” she said. “They will be provided with two breakfasts and two lunches, every time they pick up.”
The Falcon Feed will distribute meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays from June 7 through June 30. The distribution sites and times are below:
- Royal Avenue Rec Center – 11:00 a.m.
- Florence Food Center – 11:11 a.m.
- Carver Homes – 11:18 a.m.
- Cypress Gardens – 11:36 a.m.
- Harlan Elementary – 11:45 a.m.
- Mars Hill Manor/Heatherwood – 11:53 a.m.
- Hearn Mobile Home Park – 12:12 p.m.
- Weeden Elementary – 12:25 p.m.
- Weeden Heights Apartments – 12:38 p.m.
- Midway Street – 12:45 p.m.
- Cherry Hill Homes – 12:54 p.m.
- Southern Oaks – 1:07 p.m.
- Hermitage Oaks – 1:15 p.m.
While the Florence City Schools is distributing the food, it is open to anyone 18 and younger who needs a meal. “You don’t even need to be a Florence City Schools student” Talmage said. “As long as they appear to be 18 years old, or under, they can get a meal from us no questions asked.”
Talmage said summer can be an especially difficult for families struggling with food insecurity.
“When children are in school, you don’t have to worry so much about whether or not they are going to be fed because they will have access to breakfast and lunch if they need it” Talmage said. “In the summer, unless you are in some program whether it be school based or other programs that operate in the summer, you may not have the security of knowing there are options available to eat if you are hungry.”
The Falcon Feeder Food Truck will run through June 30th. Talmage explained that unfortunately the program will not continue into July and August, because the USDA waivers that help make the program possible are running out.
She said if there are any “silver linings” to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the extra funding and opportunity to be able to feed children in the community through these types of the programs.