Monday, June 7, 2010

Superintendent Luna helps kick off Idaho Foodbank’s Summer Food Program

For many kids around the state, summer vacation is here. But even though schools are out for the summer, we all know hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation. It’s important that our kids still get the good nutrition they have relied on at school.

That’s where the Summer Food Program comes in.

This federal program partners with sponsoring organizations to provide free meals to children from economically disadvantaged families during school summer vacations.

One partnering organization is The Idaho Foodbank. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna joined Boise Mayor Dave Bieter and representatives of Bank of America and The Idaho Foodbank at Ivywild Park in Boise today to kick off The Idaho Foodbank’s 2010 Picnic in the Park Program.

Through its Picnic in the Park Program, The Idaho Foodbank will provide free, nutritious meals to kids who might otherwise go hungry at 10 different locations throughout Boise this summer. Bank of America is helping The Idaho Foodbank with its program this year, donating $25,000 and a crew of volunteers to host activities for the kids during their Picnic in the Park. Life’s Kitchen, a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of at-risk youth through comprehensive food service and life skills training, is providing the meals.

The federal Summer Food Program, administered through the State Department of Education, allows sponsoring organizations to receive full reimbursement based on the number of meals served and apply the funds to both operating and administrative costs, thus streamlining the claims process. The Department contracts with public and private schools; non-profit organizations; city, county, and tribal governments; and other organizations.

Last year, the State Department of Education and partnering organizations served 1.4 million meals to Idaho students at more than 300 sites across our state during the summer months.

To find locations in your area, you can call the Idaho Careline at 211 or 1-800-926-2588.

~ Melissa M.

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