Here are the 5 big things you need to know this Thursday morning, June 11:
1.Though the number of people facing food insecurity solely due to the coronavirus pandemic is staggering, Osceola County and the Second Harvest Food Bank will not let them fail to feed families.
Osceola County, which has provided “gap funding” assistance to local pantries twice already during the pandemic, will continue to support them. With the second round of $45,000 or so in gap funding scheduled to run out this week, County Commission Chair Viviana Janer said at Monday’s meeting that a third round would be released to key local non-profit food banks.
Additionally, Commissioner Brandon Arrington also announced at Monday’s meeting that Second Harvest Food Bank, who local food pantries get much of their charitable food supply from, has plans to provide direct funding to 12 local food pantries to keep them propped up.
Roughly three weeks ago, Second Harvest CEO Dave Krepcho reported that Second Harvest provided food for 400,000 unique people a year or 150,000 meals a day. Now they are providing 300,000 meals a day — many to new families who never thought they would need a food pantry.
2. Today’s free Huntington Learning Center webinar is about finding ways for families to cope and connect with a summer that’s full of concerns about the coronavirus.
The school year has ended, and children need to play and develop social skills. But the lack of school structure creates the potential for disconnection.
The Huntington webinar starts at 1 p.m. and will have ideas to help families cope during these times and create positive and engaging ways to connect. Caroline Maguire is an expert in training parents to coach kids on social skills, empathy and self-advocacy. She will offer suggestions on how to help your child develop social skills during this pandemic, including the importance of unstructured, imaginative play for all ages, teaching why empathy is so important, reading body language, social and verbal cues and coping with worry and anxiety.
Register at Info.HuntingtonHelps.com, or call Huntington Learning Center St. Cloud at 407-789-3688 for information. We hope you and your children will join Maguire and Huntington Learning Center today at 1 p.m.
3. Major League Soccer announced its plans to restart its season at ESPN Wide World of Sports with a major tournament.
A week after the NBA solidified its plan to finish the basketball season and championship playoffs at ESPN Wide World of Sports, MLS announced its plans Wednesday to start a World Cup-like tournament with Orlando City and all 26 MLS clubs out at Disney on July 8.
The “MLS is Back” event will have 54 matches played over five weeks, without fans in attendance. Teams will play a minimum of three matches, and as many as seven depending on how far they make it in the playoff brackets. The Championship match will take place on Aug. 11.
MLS will provide the tournament schedule, national television partner networks, and other important details soon. Players will undergo a rigorous COVID-19 testing plan with health, safety and medical protocols, and the league make a contribution to the community, making antibody tests available to area residents beginning June 18.
After the tournament, MLS plans to continue its regular season with a revised schedule in home markets.
4. Go fishing this weekend! You won’t need a license.
Teach a man to fish — or a kid — and you feed them for life. And this weekend you can do it for free on Florida freshwater.
Usually, a license is required for residents to fish legally here in Florida. However, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission allows fishing without a license on select days during the year.
On these days, the fishing license requirement is waived for all recreational anglers. But bag and size limits still do apply, so go to myfwc.com to find out how much and how big you can catch — meaning fish stories of how it was “that big” are also limited. Plus, when you’re fishing, social distancing is a really, really easy way to enjoy the outdoors, something most of us probably haven’t gotten enough of these last couple of months.
Another great site, take me fishing.org, has tips on hooking those big fish. So grab your rods, reels, hooks, lures, and bait — and definitely a floppy hat and sunscreen — and head out on the water this weekend for some fishing fun. If you’re on a boat, always wear your life jacket.
5. It’s time for another SpaceX launch! But you have to set your alarms to see this one.
The Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Friday morning at 5:42 a.m. It’s set to send another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit before the booster rockets return to the drone ship “Of Course I Still Love You” eight minutes later.
The weather is expected to be 80 percent favorable for launch, with high clouds around the launch pad the only hindrance.
SpaceX sent two astronauts to the International Space Station in the Crew Dragon orbiter, and sent more satellites up last week. The Falcon 9 will stay busy: Another Starlink mission is scheduled on June 22, followed by an all-important launch of an Air Force’s global positioning satellite on June 30.
As for the weather, many of us got rain on Wednesday. Keep those umbrellas handy for today, because there’s an 80 percent chance of storms, starting in the morning and becoming widespread in the afternoon, with a high temperature approaching 90. Good news is Friday is expected to be much drier.