Orange County families receive free meals for students

Organizers say this helps ease the burden while school is out for the holidays

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Orange County Public Schools and Second Harvest Food Bank are partnering together to give thousands of families free nutritious meals while students are out of school for the holidays. 

Jen Tranter is a single mother of three. She was one of hundreds of families at Evans High School Saturday morning to receive the food as part of the organizations' ninth annual food drop.

"This is a huge blessing," Tranter said. "To me this is a huge help. To some people it may not be as big, but for me I've had a few minor setbacks income wise and this is just a huge, huge blessing."

OCPS and Second Harvest Food Bank team up to give away free food to families in need. Many students rely on free or reduced priced school meals. With the holidays coming up, some families have a hard time providing for their kids while they are out of school.

"We see students every day that need breakfast, lunch, and dinner and especially going away for two weeks, that's a very long time," Casey Waugh, a senior administrator at Evans High School said. "We want to make sure we can cushion as much as we can going into the holiday season until they get back to us."

More than 200 student volunteers filled the paper bags and loaded up the cars. The families took home bags stuffed with fruits, vegetables, bread, treats, and turkeys.

The food distribution happened at eight locations across the county. Organizers said they will help more than 2,300 families.

"I know it's going to help sort of ease the burden for some of these families who are relying on the school to help provide that nutrition," Greg Higgerson, who works with Second Harvest Food Bank, said. 

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