Denise Kahler, Director of Communications     (785) 296-4876

 

For immediate release

Jan. 23, 2014

 

Summer Food Service Program Sponsors Ensure Children Continue to Receive Nutritious Meals When Schools Not in Session

Nearly Half of Kansas Children Qualify for Free/Reduced Price Meals

 

 

 

TOPEKA –The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is looking for sponsors willing to provide nutritious meals to Kansas children during the summer months. A program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), SFSP provides reimbursement to schools, public agencies and private non-profit organizations for food services.  Meals can be served free to children in areas with school or census eligibility based on free and reduced price meal eligibility.  Free meals enhance summer education or recreation programs.

 

During the school year nearly half of the children in Kansas qualify for reduced price or free meals.  Children and families rely on this economical nutrition source. The goal of the SFSP is to ensure children in needy areas continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations when the low-cost or free school meals provided through the Child Nutrition Programs of the USDA are no longer available. SFSP sponsors receive reimbursements for documenting and serving healthy meals to children between the ages of 1 and 18 years at approved sites in needy areas. These nutritional opportunities help keep children ready to learn when school resumes.

 

The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) administers the SFSP in Kansas. More than 350,000 lunches are served to children each day in Kansas during the school year, while only 25,000 children statewide receive the free meals provided each day by SFSP sponsors during the summer months, so more sponsors are needed.  Kansas SFSP sponsors served a record one million meals during summer 2013 but still fell short of meeting the needs of Kansas children.

 

SFSP meals can complement supervised activities that are safe, fun, and filled with learning opportunities. Children benefit nutritionally by receiving complete, wholesome meals and parents benefit from help in stretching their food dollars.  Children who continue to receive healthy meals through the summer feel better, behave better and go back to school ready to learn. The SFSP encourages communities to provide secure places for children to go to be with other children and caring adults. As a result, parents will know their children are receiving healthy meals in a supportive environment.

 

Can SFSP assist in your community?  Organizations interested in serving nutritious meals to children through a summer program should contact Peggy McAdoo or Kelly Chanay at Child Nutrition and Wellness, KSDE, (785) 296-2276, or visit our website www.kn-eat.org and select the Summer Food Service Program to learn more about the SFSP.

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing 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.

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