PARKLAND, FL- Summer vacation is a highlight of the year for many people living in South Florida. Yet, for all the freedom and time away from school, it also can have drawbacks. During the school year, over 550,000 children in South Florida rely on federal nutrition programs for breakfast and lunch. Additionally, 1 in 5 South Florida children go to bed hungry and nearly 250,000 do not know where they will get their next meal. During the ten week summer break, many families face this new set of issues on a daily basis.

Parkland's Heather Khalil and her son Charlie are working with the local community to address the hunger issue this summer. They've partnered with Hope South Florida and a number of area churches, businesses, schools, and individuals to help provide meals to the community. To date, they are providing meals this summer to over 200 locals families in need, which also represents 500+ children that would be without consistent meals this summer. 

One of the supporting businesses is Blum and Blum accounting, owned by Alfonso Guerra of Coral Springs. Guerra says "my wife and I believe that when you invest in the health and wellbeing of a child, you improve the outcome of a better society tomorrow. From a very young age, we've inspired our kids to help those in need and give back to worthy causes. My wife is passionate about helping children and sees the value and potential they have."

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Another donor is Midora at Woodmont Apartment Property Management. "We believe in 3 core values, and one of them is kindness," shares Community Manager Camille Puleri. "Kindness is often described as leaving others better than when you've found them. The bottom line is that kindness can leave the greatest impact on others. This is why our team strives for WOW moments, to create memorable experiences and leave a little kindness everywhere we go."

Those contributing to the food drive are: Blum and Blum Accounting, Hispanic Business Connection, Church of Latter Day Saints, Calvary Chapel Parkland, Midora at Woodmont Property Management, and students from North Broward Prep, Stoneman Douglas, Cardinal Gibbons, American Heritage, Pope John Paul, and St. Thomas Aquinas. “We can’t do it without the support of our community and feel so blessed to have community partners such has Heather and friends from the Parkland community,” stated Pery Canan of Hope South Florida.

As the summer break continues, more meals and supporters are welcomed to help fight hunger in South Florida. Food will be collected through July 15. Contact Heather Khalil at heatherkhalil@gmail.com to arrange drop off. For more information on how to support the food drive, please visit feedingsouthflorida.org/summer-hunger-ends-here-2019