SARASOTA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Sarasota is known for its white sandy beaches and its waterfront homes, but away from the beach, there's a need. The number of families and children struggling for food grows.
"It's not what you would think when you walk around downtown and along our coastline," said the CEO of All Faiths Food Bank Sandra Frank.
Frank said 50% of students in Sarasota schools use free and reduced meal programs. That's more than 20,000 students.
"When school ends, hunger begins for those children," said Frank.
Frank said when factored together with their younger siblings who aren't old enough to go to school yet, there are 40,000 kids who need help.
"Their families work in restaurants, the retail stores. They depend on hospitality and tourism for their income. When summer comes that income diminishes," she said.
Finding donations and putting food on tables across Sarasota is a never-ending job. RIght now, All Faith's Food Bank is working to bring in money and donations for its Campaign Against Summer Hunger.
They're trying to raise $700,000 dollars and they've raised $400,000 towards their goal.
"About 76% of everything we distribute is donated," said All Faith's Food Bank's Chief Operation Officer John Livingston.
Livingston said when school lets out, about 200 programs work to make sure kids are given a nutritious meal
"Our goal is to get between five and six million goals of produce because it’s fresh and healthy," said Livingston.
All Faith's is here to help those families who need a helping hand. Healthy meals mean kids will be ready to learn come August.
"It may be just that they need help for this one time. Maybe they need that bridge built for three months. We have all struggled in our life," said Livingston.
For more information visit www.allfaithsfoodbank.org.