For immediate release
March 22, 2011
Kathy Toelkes, Director of Communications, 785-296-4876
Kansas receives grant to provide food to low-income children during summer months
TOPEKA – Kansas is one of three states awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to supplement the traditional Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) by providing food backpacks to low-income children over weekends in the summer months. As part of the Food Backpack demonstration project, Kansas will receive $246,173 to allow seven Kansas SFSP sponsors to begin providing weekend backpacks containing shelf stable breakfast and lunch foods to low-income children at SFSP sites this summer.
The purpose of the grant is to test innovative alternatives to enable children from low-income households to access healthy food during the summer and to boost participation in the SFSP. The traditional Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months through program sponsors that can include schools, government agencies, residential and non-residential camps and faith-based organizations. In Kansas, 86 SFSP sponsors provided more than 786,000 meals last summer.
The demonstration project funded by the grant will address those days when meals are not available at the SFSP sites, typically weekends. Through the Food Backpack program, low-income children served at the SFSP sites can be provided a backpack at the end of the week that will provide them with meals through the weekend. The backpacks will contain foods such as milk, juices, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna and individual canned entrees. Preparation instructions and menu serving suggestions will also be provided.
The Kansas SFSP sponsors that will participate in the program are:
• Central USD 462, Burden
• Lawrence Public Schools USD 497, Lawrence
Kansas receives grant
March 22, 2011
• Gardner Edgerton USD 231, Gardner
• Arkansas City USD 470, Arkansas City
• United Methodist Church, Wilson
• Topeka Public Schools USD 501, Topeka
• East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp. (ECKAN), Ottawa
Families interested in participating in the Summer Food Service Program in Kansas can contact the Child Nutrition and Wellness team at the Kansas State Department of Education at 785-296-2276.
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