CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education is looking for organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer.
County boards of education and other non-profit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Program, which encourages communities to provide safe places for children and teenagers 18 and under. Organizations receive funds to provide meals to complement recreational and educational programs. Feeding sites include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, housing complexes and summer camps.
“While children have access to school meals throughout the school year, those meals end when school is out for the summer months,” said West Virginia Superintendent Jim Phares.
The Summer Food Program was created to ensure that children in lower-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during summer break. An average of 178,000 children in West Virginia, about 58 percent of schoolchildren, depend on free and reduced-price meals at school, yet only 11,971 receive the free meals provided by the Summer Food Program.
“There were 410 Summer Food Program sites in West Virginia in 2013 that provided nutritious meals to children and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2014,” Phares said. “Promoting Summer Feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer.”
Upcoming summer sites will be announced in May 2014. Organizations involved in the 2013 Summer Food Program are posted at http://wvde.state.wv.us/ocn-download/Forms/SFSP/2013/2013SummerFoodOrganizations.pdf.
For more information on the Summer Food Program contact the Office of Child Nutrition at 304-558-3396, or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.
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