CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is looking for organizations across the state to help feed children during the summer months. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program sponsored by the WVDE Office of Child Nutrition to ensure that children (18 years and younger) in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer months.
When school is out, many children are at risk for poor nutrition because they do not have access to the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program. The Office of Child Nutrition SFSP provides funds to county school boards of education and other non-profit organizations to help feed hungry kids every summer.
"More than 21 million kids in the U.S. get free or reduced price school lunch, while just over 3 million of those kids get a free summer meal," said West Virginia State Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Martirano. "We need to continue to feed West Virginia kids in the summer to decrease this gap and to promote a culture where healthy students in our state are the norm."
"There were 442 Summer Meal sites in West Virginia in 2014 that provided nutritious meals to children and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2015," said Rick Goff, Office of Child Nutrition executive director.
"Adding summer feeding sites in communities across the state is one of the most important things we can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer."
County boards of education and other non-profit organizations can participate in the SFSP to provide safe places for children and teenagers to receive healthy summer meals. Feeding sites can include schools, churches, community centers, libraries, pools, parks, housing complexes and summer camps.
Most sponsors may be approved to receive reimbursement for serving up to two meals or one meal and a snack per day (usually breakfast and lunch or lunch and a snack). Camps may claim up to three meals per day. All meals must follow the SFSP USDA Meal Pattern requirements and dietary specifications and can be prepared on site or transported from another location.
Upcoming summer sites will be announced in May 2015. Organizations involved in the 2014 SFSP are posted at https://wvde.state.wv.us/ocn-download/Forms/SFSP/2014/SFSP_SiteMap2014.pdf.
For more information on the SFSP contact the Office of Child Nutrition at 304-558-3396 or the WVDE Communications Office at 304-558-2699.
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