Local volunteers team up with schools to feed hungry students

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Romi White

UPDATE: Santa Rosa County Schools Food Services received permission from USDA to start distributing meals today along certain school bus routes in areas with high rates of free and reduced lunch students:

  • Berryhill Elem
  • Benny Russell Elem 
  • Bagdad Elem 
  • Central School 
  • East Milton Elem 
  • Jay Elem
  • Holley-Navarre Primary
  • Milton High
  • Pea Ridge Elem

Assistant Superintendent Joey Harrell said the district is working closely with bus drivers to capitalize on their first-hand knowledge of the routes to help determine where the greatest needs might be.  Harrell asks for the community’s patience as they create these “modified” bus routes.

According to Harrell, the buses will start deliveries along the routes around 11 a.m. “There’s no way for us to give an exact time (when deliveries might occur) for certain locations,” he said, noting that if there were four kids at a stop today there could be 80 by Friday as word spreads.”

Additionally, the district is also going to starting sending supplemental weekend food home starting Friday and every Friday thereafter for the time being.


Volunteers with FoodRaising Friends have been busy helping assemble hundreds of bags of groceries for local low-income families. The nonprofit distributed 515 bags today at local school sites, including Holley-Navarre Intermediate Schoool.

Santa Rosa County Schools Food Services on Monday began serving free breakfast and lunch for all Santa Rosa County students. FoodRaising Families, has also teamed up with the schools to provide a week’s worth of supplemental groceries to families each Monday.

Any child 18 years old or younger can pick up free breakfast and lunch meals at any of the following locations Monday through Friday from 9:30-11 a.m.

– Milton High School bus ramp on Raymond Hobbs Lane
– Pea Ridge Elementary’s parent pick up lane
– East Milton Elementary’s bus ramp in front of school
– Jay Elementary’s bus loop on Alabama Street
– Berryhill Elementary’s bus ramp
– Holley Navarre Primary Schools’ parent pick-up area
– T.R. Jackson’s p arent pick up area
– Central School’s parent pick up
– Bagdad Elementary’s bus ramp area
– Benny Russell Elementary’s bus ramp area

Becca McKeithen, a founder of FoodRaising Families, Inc., a local nonprofit organization which provides food to children and their families at risk for hunger during long breaks from school, said they will provide about a week’s worth of supplemental groceries at the aforementioned schools sites each Monday.

“We distributed about 515 bags today,” McKeithen said. “In this really trying time, it’s more important than ever to protect children and families from the impact this crisis could have. To know there is food in their home…parents stress is eased and their children are fed. That is why we are doing what we do!”

FoodRaising Friend accepts monetary tax-deductible donations via the following link:


Additionally, buses will also distribute free breakfast and lunch meals on weekdays from 11 am – 12 pm at the following locations:

  • Midway Fire Station – 1322 College Parkway, Gulf Breeze
  • 3144 Auburn Pkwy, Gulf Breeze
  • 7596 Blackjack Circle, Navarre
  • Santa Villa in Pea Ridge
  • Bell Ridge Apartments in Pea Ridge
  • Floridatown in Pace
  • Santa Gertrudas – south of Interstate 10 in the Avalon community
  • Permenter Road in the American Farms community in East Milton
  • Blackwater Baptist in Munson
  • Skyline subdivision just north of Milton at the following locations
    • intersection of Syrcle Ave. and Judy
    • intersection of Syrcle Ave. and Julia Dr.
    • intersection Skyline Dr. and Eva St.
    • intersection of Syrcle Ave. and Gaynell Ave.

Officials suggest monitor changes to this plan www.srcscafe.wixsite.com/foodserv or Santa Rosa County Food Services’ Facebook page.

Santa Rosa County School District does not respond to Facebook posts nor messages received via Facebook Messenger. Questions should be directed via email to: doc@santarosa.k12.fl.us.