Department of Education Seeks Sponsors for Summer Food Service Program
Release date: 3/7/2013
COLUMBUS – Last summer, on average more than 51,360 Ohio children received free meals on a daily basis through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). More than 3.7 million meals were provided for children during the course of the summer. This year, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) wants to see the number grow 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 2013 program. Sponsors receive cash reimbursements to provide nutritious meals to children at eligible sites.
Last summer, the program served children at 1,639 SFSP sites in Ohio. More than 199 sponsors participated in the program, which is funded through ODE by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The SFSP 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 and an approved Individual Education Plan (IEP) may participate through age 21.
“Just as learning is a year-round activity, so is the need for good nutrition,” said Michael L. Sawyers, Ohio’s acting superintendent of public instruction. “When school is out, communities can offer the Summer Food Service Program to provide many children with the nourishment they need to continue to learn play and grow.”
Schools and nonprofit organizations may qualify to participate in SFSP if their program sites are in areas where 50 percent of children qualify for USDA’s 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 19.
Organizations interested in becoming sponsors, or sites with existing sponsors, should complete the SFSP potential sponsor survey on the ODE website. Potential sponsors interested in participating in the 2013 summer program should complete the survey no later than March 15. For more information, call toll-free (800) 808-6325 The USDA prohibits discrimination in the administration of its programs.
Editor’s note: In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired 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.