Cohen: Magic Aim to Help Prevent Childhood Hunger

By Josh Cohen
May 22, 2012


ORLANDO -- The premise of the program is simple and rational.

If kids eat nutritious meals throughout the summer, they are likely to be healthier and more energized and will be in a greater position to perform better in the classroom when school resumes.

This fact is what makes Summer BreakSpot, a nutrition program for students in Florida, so extremely important and valuable.

The Orlando Magic joined several other organizations, including the Department of Agriculture, the Tampa Bay Rays, Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, on Tuesday at a special event at the Nap Ford Community School to help reinforce good nutrition and educate children about this campaign to stop childhood hunger.

During the school year, more than 1.6 million Florida students rely on free or reduced price school meals through the National School Lunch Program. However, when school is not in session, often kids don’t have the necessary guidance or support to continue eating nourishing meals throughout the day.

Summer BreakSpots, in which there are approximately 3,000 of them in Florida at various community sites such as schools, parks & recreation centers, low-income housing complexes and pools, offers deprived kids the opportunity to eat healthy meals during the summer months.

In addition to the free meals that are served, which always contain fruits and vegetables and foods with grains and protein, students are able to learn about beneficial exercise habits and fun recreational activities.

Linda Landman-Gonzalez, Vice President of Community Relations and Government Affairs for the Magic, and Community Ambassadors Nick Anderson and Bo Outlaw were on hand at Tuesday’s event to help advocate this program and the significance of good nutrition.

The mascots from each of the representing sports teams, including STUFF, were present as well to further inspire the attendees.

“This is a great plan and program and it means a lot to be able to offer kids good meals in the summer time,” Outlaw said. “This event was a great success and really helped get the word out about the attempt to stop childhood hunger.”

To learn more about Summer BreakSpot and how you can either get involved or find out where the closest site is to you, please visit http://www.summerfoodflorida.org/