UCF day care continues supporting families with free meals to take home

As families struggle with kids being out of school and making sure they have enough food on the table, the child day care center at the University Of Central Florida continues supporting its community with free meals and food to take home.

“He wakes up every morning now and asks if it’s a school day and unfortunately I gotta tell him ‘no’” Shelly Jones, a UCF student whose 3-year-old son is enrolled at the day care center, said. She says knowing her family can still count on those services while classes are canceled brings her some comfort.

“It’s just nice to know that you have people to lean on,” Jones, a nursing student said. “It just shows you what a community is and you feel grateful to be part of a community.”

Boxed meals and food that includes milk, are being brought out by volunteers to families cars or they're placed outside the building ready for pick up.

"We have hot meals, we have cold meals, we have milk," Suzette Turner, director of UCF's child daycare center said. "Parents could just come once a week to have food for the entire week or they can come daily for their hot meals."

It's a resource made possible with food provided by Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. Since the coronavirus outbreak, they are seeing more families in need of their services.

"We are ramping up and providing more in the form of family and children food boxes," Santos Maldonado, childhood hunger programs manager Second Harvest Foodbank of Central Florida said.

And with the stay-at-home order in Orange County, the UCF child daycare center says they are considered essential, therefore, they will continue to support their students, staff, and anyone in need of food.

"It exempts social services locations that are handing out food. It also exempts workers and volunteers from coming to and from locations such as this one," Maldonado explained about the Mayor's executive order. "Don't feel bad about heading out and coming to these locations that can help you provide for food."

The meals are being prepared and distributed Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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