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Brittany Halpin

Associate Director for Media Relations
(614) 728-5959

Media Releases

Ohio Department of Education Press Releases

Ohio Department of Education Announces Summer Food Service Program Plans

Release date: 2/1/2017

With the help of numerous sponsoring agencies and stakeholders, the Summer Food Service Program feeds thousands of children in Ohio. Since 2014, Ohio has increased participation in the program by 10 percent.

Despite these numbers, many Ohio parents and caregivers continue to make difficult choices every day in order to provide for their families. In many cases, this leaves Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens, our children and youth, struggling with hunger daily.

This year, the Ohio Department of Education wants to increase participation in summer meal programs and is actively seeking local nonprofit agencies to participate as sponsors or sites by providing free meals to children.

“The need for healthy meals doesn’t stop when school breaks for the summer, and the Summer Food Service Program helps provide children with nourishment to make sure summer can be a time for continued learning and fun,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “Instead of worrying about where their next meal will come from, our students can enjoy activities like reading, sports, playing outdoors and the growing that happens during the summer months.”

Free meals are provided at schools, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, parks, camps, community centers, swimming pools, libraries, low-income housing complexes and more.

Sponsoring organizations receive reimbursement to cover the costs of providing nutritious meals and snacks to children in eligible areas. Nonprofit organizations offering summer activities for children living in low-income areas also are encouraged to apply.

A sponsoring organization must be:

  • A public or nonprofit private school;
  • A public or nonprofit private residential summer camp;
  • A unit of local, municipal, county or state government;
  • A public or nonprofit college or university; or
  • A private nonprofit organization.

The Summer Food Service Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the Ohio Department of Education.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education challenge sponsors to expand the “One More Challenge” in communities around the state. Sponsors will take on “One More Site,” “One More Meal,” or “One More Week” to increase the number of meals served this summer.

Expansion of the program is particularly needed in southern Ohio counties, where families struggle with food insecurity, as well as in rural communities and areas where migrant families reside.

The Summer Food Service Program ensures that children ages 1-18 continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer break from school, when they do not have access to school breakfast or lunch. Children with disabilities and approved individualized education programs may participate through age 21.

Any organization interested in becoming a sponsor or site should complete the potential sponsor survey.

Potential sponsors interested in participating in the 2017 program should complete the survey no later than Friday, March 3.

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In accordance with Federal Civil Rights Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.