Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Friday, 15 May 2015 17:57

Hungry People in Brevard County

Written by  Team SCPA

Revised June 1, 2015

SCPA 1st THURSDAY

6:30pm Thurs. June 4, 2015

LOCATION: 
Front Street Civic Center, 2205 Front Street, downtown Melbourne FL 32901

Free and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted.

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PROGRAM: Hungry Children, Veterans + Elderly in Brevard County

In the year 2015, in one of the richest countries on planet Earth -- the USA -- about 14.5 percent of U.S. households -- nearly 49.1 million Americans, including 15.8 million children -- struggle to put food on the table. In the USA, hunger is not caused by a scarcity of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.* (see editor note)
-- Hunger and Poverty Fact Sheet, FeedingAmerica.org

THREE SPEAKERS followed by Q+A

Meals on Wheels
by Cindy Flachmeier
Presdient + CEO, Aging Matters in Brevard, the parent organization for Meals on Wheels

Children's Hunger Project
by Bob Barnes
Executive Director, Children's Hunger Project
In Brevard County the number of children in the free and reduced-price meal program exceeds 45%. Some elementary schools have 80% or more of their kids on the free and reduced-price meal program with many of them at risk of childhood hunger and malnutrition.

Daily Bread
by John Farrell
Established in 1987, Daily Bread served over 8,000 meals in its first six months. Currently, handles 'approximately 750,000 pounds of food products' yearly.

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 Breakfast and lunch in Brevard Public Schools?

· All Brevard Public Schools students are eligible to receive a no-cost breakfast. Currently our overall breakfast participation rate based on total enrollment is 36% at Elementary schools; 24% at Middle schools; and 24% at High schools. Overall 30% of the students who qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunches eat breakfast at school. We continually work towards trying to increase participation in our breakfast program by offering a variety of healthy choices and expediting meal service so students are served in a timely manner.
 
· Currently 48% of Brevard County students qualify for Free or Reduced Price Lunch benefits.  This number continues to increase, up from 46.95% the prior year. For students that do not qualify for free or reduced lunch price benefits, we offer some of the lowest lunch prices in the state--only $1.80 for Elementary students and only $1.90 for Secondary students which is quite reasonable.
 
· Currently our overall lunch participation based on total enrollment is 64% at Elementary schools; 50% at Middle schools; and 24% at High schools. Overall 68% of students who are eligible for Free or Reduced Price meal participate in the program.
 
We operate a great breakfast and lunch program, and our challenge is to increase participation throughout the school year. We have also expanded our summer feeding program to add sites in impoverished areas that offer no cost breakfasts and/or lunches to all children 18 and younger throughout the county from June – August.

- Karen Trent, Brevard County Food Services, Brevard Public Schools

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*SCPA Editor note regarding millions of people being hungry: Is a living wage important and relevant? There are huge root problems behind these numbers. Are those root problems being addressed in the USA? It seems questionable! 'Median white household wealth, 2013: $141,900. Black household median: $11,000.' Meanwhile, the cost of food is going up. Is there yet an urgent national discussion?  Numbers source: Inequaltiy.org

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1st or 2nd Thursdays are monthly gatherings, building the growing progressive community. Share your petitions and other items of interest, make brief announcements. Enjoy the gathering, super programs, super people. Bring a friend! Free and open to the public.


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Space Coast Progressive Alliance (SCPA) is an advocate for the Greater Public Interest on issues important to us all. We advance progressive policies that further civil and personal liberty, the environment, health care, education, labor, peace, social welfare, financial stability and international harmony. Florida non-profit founded in 2004.

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Compiled by Team SCPA

 

Last modified on Friday, 05 June 2015 10:12
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