KSDE Weekly

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KSDE’s Child Nutrition and Wellness website can help families locate summer meal sites

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is helping thousands of children across Kansas access nutritious meals and snacks this summer. 

SFSP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that provides reimbursement for food services to schools, public agencies, camps and private nonprofit organizations. Meal sites are approved through the state as either open, enrolled or camp sites: 

  • Open sites operate in low-income areas where at least half of the children come from families with incomes at or below 185% of the federal poverty level, making them eligible for free and reduced-price school meals. Meals are served free to any child at open sites. 
  • Enrolled sites provide free meals to children enrolled in an activity program at a site where at least half of the children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. 
  • Camps also can participate in SFSP. They receive payments only for meals served to children who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals. 

Free meals can enhance summer education and recreation programs, too. Just as learning doesn’t come to a stop during the summer, neither does the need for good nutrition. SFSP helps children receive the nutritious meals and snacks they need to learn, play and grow throughout the summer months. 

The goal of the program is to ensure children continue to have access to nutritious meals throughout the summer months when the low-cost or free school meals provided through the Child Nutrition Programs of the USDA are no longer available because school is out. 

SFSP sponsors receive reimbursements for documenting and serving healthy meals and snacks to children 18 years of age and younger. Meals and snacks also are available to people who are 18 and over if they participate in school programs designed for those who are mentally or physically disabled. 

At most sites, children can receive either one or two reimbursable meals each day. Camps and sites that primarily serve migrant children may be approved to serve up to three meals to each child per day. 

The Kansas State Department of Education administers the SFSP in Kansas. Families can find meal sites near them by visiting the KSDE Child Nutrition and Wellness (CNW) summer meal locator here

Families seeking food assistance for children can also contact the USDA National Hunger Hotline, which is operated by Hunger Free America on behalf of the USDA. This hotline is a resource for individuals and families seeking information on how to obtain food. The National hunger Hotline staff members connect callers with emergency food providers in their community, along with governmental assistance programs and various social services. 

The hotline can be reached by dialing 1-866-3-HUNGRY (6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (6273) for Spanish from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

The Hunger Hotline also operates a texting service. That number is 914-342-7744. Families can text the following words to find out more information: 

  • SNAP – Find your state’s SNAP hotline number. 
  • EBT – Find your state’s EBT hotline number. 
  • School meals – Find a school meal site in your area. 
  • SFSP – Find a summer meal site in your area. 
  • Food – Find food resources in your area. 

The USDA website also has an SFSP site finder that includes data for 40 states, including Kansas. It can be accessed here.  

Posted: Jun 15, 2023,
Comments: 0,
Author: Ann Bush
Tags: CNW

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