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Department of Education Seeks Sponsors for Summer Food Service Program

Release date: 1/29/2014

COLUMBUS, OH – Nearly 60,000 Ohio children received a free meal each day last summer through the Summer Food Service Program. More than 3.7 million meals were provided for children during the summer, an average 59,924 Ohio children per day. This year, the Ohio Department of Education wants to increase the number of children served and is looking for local sponsors and sites to operate the program.

Nonprofit organizations offering summer activities for low-income youth or children living in low-income areas are encouraged to apply for the 2014 program.

The Summer Food Service Program was created to ensure that children between the ages of 1 and 18 can continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer school break, when they do not have access to school lunches or breakfasts. Children with disabilities who have an approved Individual Education Plan (IEP) may participate through age 21.

“It is important to ensure that Ohio children receive a nutritious meal each day even when school is not in session,” said Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Richard A. Ross. “Children must have the proper nourishment to learn, play and grow.”

Last summer, the program served children at 1,454 locations with more than 190 sponsors participating in the program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Sponsors receive reimbursements to provide nutritious meals to children at eligible sites.

Schools and nonprofit organizations may qualify to participate in the Summer Food Service Program if their program sites are in areas where 50 percent of children qualify for USDA free and reduced-price school meals. All new sponsoring agencies will be required to attend a training program in March and complete the application process by April 18. 

Organizations interested in becoming sponsors or sites with existing sponsors should visit the department of education web site at www.education.ohio.gov and search for “SFSP potential sponsor survey” or click here. Potential sponsors interested in participating in the 2014 summer program should complete the survey no later than March 1. For more information, call toll-free (800) 808-6325. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the department (not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complain Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W. Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or fax (202) 690-7442 or e-mail at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.