In an effort to better serve underprivileged youth in our community, the Coral Springs Police Department developed a mentoring, enrichment and feeding program for children who receive free or reduced lunch during the normal school year.
Florida Impact and Meals on Wheels South Florida, organizations which mobilize communities to end hunger and poverty, approached the department last year to develop a plan to provide meals to children who may go without food during the summer months. Chief Tony Pustizzi took it a step further and challenged the department to develop a program that would not only feed children, but build better relationships with the community, offer educational and emotional support and exercise during the summer. The outcome is a comprehensive enrichment program that includes daily safety presentations, reading, mentoring, arts and crafts, sport activities and of course, a free nutritious hot lunch and snack.
Staffed with six officers and two civilians daily, the program is the first of its kind in South Florida. While many police departments participate in summer feeding programs and summer camps, the Coral Springs Police Department coordinates the staffing, educational and enrichment components, sports activities and food distribution.