When the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced earlier this week that public schools would not be permitted to provide free meals to students during their normally-scheduled Spring Breaks, Alachua County Public Schools put out a call to the community to fill that gap.
The community has responded in a big way.
Thanks to the generosity of CAMPUS USA Credit Union, partner restaurants MiApa, Gator’s Dockside and Gators BTW, local businessman Freddie Wehbe and the hundreds of individuals and businesses who have already donated more than $40,000 to this effort, more than 1400 free grab-and-go lunches will be available to children aged 0-18 throughout Alachua County each day from Monday, March 23 through Friday, March 27.
The lunches will be available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. or until the meals are gone. Parents are asked to bring their children to get the meals. They can drive or walk up, but are asked to follow social distancing and not remain at the distribution sites, which are:
In the Gainesville area:
Buchholz High School ● 5510 NW 27th Ave.
Cone Park Branch Library ● 2801 E University Ave.
Greater Bethel AME Church ● 701 SE 43rd St.
Library Partnership ● 912 NE 16th Ave.
Mt. Carmel Baptist Church ● 2505 NE 8th Ave.
Springhill Church ● 120 SE Williston Rd.
SWAG Center ● 807 SW 64th Terr.
Upper Room Ministries ● 3575 NE 15th St.
* Lunches will also be distributed by the Gainesville Police Department at the community centers in the Phoenix and Pine Ridge Areas.
In surrounding communities:
The free Spring Break lunch sites in the City of Alachua have been changed to the following:
- Maude Lewis Park, 15731 NW 141 St.
- Gerald Criswell Park, 15490 Hipp Way
- Feirmon E. Welch Park, 13801 NW 142nd Ave
- One 51 Place 15100 NW 150th Ct
- Irby Elementary 13505 NW 140th St
Archer ● Archer Community Center ● 16671 SW 137 Ave.
Hawthorne ● Shell Elementary ● 21633 65th Ave.
High Springs ● Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church ● 948 SE Railroad Ave.
Waldo ● Waldo City Square ●14450 NE 148th Ave.
Alachua County Public Schools will resume providing free meals and breakfasts beginning March 30 at expanded sites throughout the county. Please check www.sbac.edu for more information.