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Summer meals being served to children at sites across Kansas

Posted: Jun 3, 2019
Categories: KSDE, CNW
Author: Ann Bush

Families can access lists of sites by sending text, checking online

Thousands of children across Kansas will have access to nutritious meals this summer through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a program that provides reimbursement for food services to schools, public agencies and private nonprofit organizations.

Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program, meals can be served free to children in areas with schools or census eligibility based on free and reduced-price meal eligibility. These free meals can enhance summer education and recreation programs.

The goal of the SFSP is to ensure children continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer months 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 health meals to children between 1 to 18 years of age through approved sites in needy areas.

These nutritional opportunities help keep children ready to learn when school resumes. Proper nutrition is a critical component of reaching the Kansas State Board of Education’s vision for education – Kansas leads the world in the success of each student, said Cheryl Johnson, director of the Kansas State Department of Education’s (KSDE) Child Nutrition and Wellness team.

KSDE administers the SFSP in Kansas. Kansas SFSP sponsors served a record 1.42 million meals during the summer of 2018. The department has a goal of serving more than 1.5 million meals this summer.

Families can find summer meal sites in their area by:

·         Texting “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877. No Kid Hungry hosts this national texting hotline.

·         Texting “Summer Meals” to 97779 or by calling 1-866-348-6479. This is a service through the USDA.

·         Visit the USDA 2019 Summer Meal Site Finder online at https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.

·         Visit KSDE’s site finder at https://cnw-web.ksde.org/SFSPLocationsASP/SFSP/SFSP_Menus/SFSP_Locations.asp.

SFSP meals can complement supervised activities that are safe, fun and filled with learning opportunities. Children benefit nutritionally by receiving complete, wholesome meals throughout the summer, and they return to school ready to learn, Johnson said.

For more information on Kansas’ SFSP, visit https://www.kn-eat.org/SFSP/SFSP_Menus/SFSP_Home.htm.

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