Here is Where Sarasota & Manatee County Children Can Receive Free Food

Here is Where Sarasota & Manatee County Children Can Receive Free Food, while schools are closed.

In Sarasota County... Meals will be offered at five local schools every week until schools re-open.

Sarasota County Schools released information last night that it will provide meals for children 18 and under beginning March 23, the week after spring break. Meals will be given via drive-thru service, to avoid any unnecessary contact, and will run Monday through Friday each week until schools reopen.

Families in need of meals prior to March 23 should contact All Faiths Food Bank, the district said.

The school system adds that parents and guardians can pick up a meal for their child each day between 9 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.; children must also be in the car in order for parents and guardians to receive meals, which include lunch and breakfast for the next day. The county’s Food & Nutrition Services department will try to accommodate allergies, and parents and guardians can email: with allergy considerations, their location for meal pick-up and the approximate time of pick up.

Meals for Kids are available at the following FIVE schools in Sarasota County:

Booker High School – 3201 N. Orange Ave.

Fruitville Elementary School – 601 Honore Ave.

Garden Elementary School – 700 Center Road, Venice

North Port High School – 6400 West Price Blvd., North Port

Atwater Elementary School – 4701 Huntsville Ave., North Port 

The Sarasota County School district added that its leadership team is meeting this week to develop a plan for remote teaching during school closures, including online learning for older students and paper-based resources for younger ones. All standardized testing has been pushed back two weeks. The district also reminds parents and guardians to complete a survey about mobile devices in case teachers need to provide virtual instruction in case of extended closures.Click here to access the survey

In Manatee County... Meals will be offered at SEVEN local locations every week until schools re-open.

he district planned to continue using the same locations and times through March 27, when the extended break comes to an end. The program serves children in Manatee County who are 18 or younger, regardless of family income.

  • Turner Chapel, 317 11th St. W., Palmetto, from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
  • Lincoln Park, 501 17th St. E., Palmetto, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Southeast High School, 1200 37th Ave. E., Bradenton, from 11 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Bradenton Village Apartments, 1302 Third St. W., Bradenton, from noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Pride Park, 815 63rd Ave. E., Bradenton, from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
  • Manatee Mobile Home Park, 2204 Manatee Ave. E., Bradenton, from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
  • City Stop, 619 11th Ave. E., Bradenton, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

As the global COVID-19 pandemic shuts down schools and alters daily life, the program could be a source of normalcy and hope for local students, who rely on school for a daily meal. In Manatee County, the school district estimates that about 60 percent of students receive meal benefits, meaning a free or reduced-price lunch.

If schools remain closed after the break, the district will request an extension on the lunch service, which is made possible by a state program, said Regina Thoma, the director of food and nutrition services for Manatee schools.

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