Friday, January 7, 2011

Summer Food Sponsors Sought

The Child Nutrition Division of the State Department of Education is seeking sponsors for this year’s program that provides free meals to children from economically disadvantaged families during school summer vacations. Now more than ever, this program is needed to fill the gap for families who may not be able to afford to give their children nutritious meals during the summer months when school is not in session.

The Department contracts with public and private schools; non-profit organizations; city, county, and tribal governments; and other organizations to feed low-income children during the summer months.  Nationally, more than 26 million children eat school lunch daily when school is in session, and about half of them receive their meals free or at a reduced price because they are from families with low household incomes.  The summer program offers them nutritious food when school is not in session.

Last year, Idaho’s 86 summer food sponsors served approximately 1.3 million meals at 292 sites.  For the 2011 program year, sponsors may be:
  • Public or private nonprofit schools;
  • Public or private nonprofit residential camps
  • Local, municipal, county, tribal, or state governments;
  • Public or private nonprofit colleges or universities that participate in the National Youth Sports Program
  • Upward Bound programs;
  • Libraries; or
  • Private nonprofit organizations.
The 2011 training registration information also is available online. New sponsors are required to attend training at a location near them and to complete a hard copy application as soon as possible.  Continuing sponsors for the 2011 summer program are invited to choose a training session in February or March at a location near to them.

The 2011 training schedule is:
  • February 23 – Lewiston – 1-4 p.m.
  • February 24 – Coeur d’Alene – 1-4 p.m.
  • March 2 – Pocatello – 9 a.m. to noon
  • March 3 – Idaho Falls – 9 a.m. to noon
  • March 8 – Fruitland – 1-4 p.m.
  • March 10 – Boise – 1-4 p.m.
  • March 16 – Twin Falls – 1-4 p.m.
Applications are due to the State Department of Education by May 6, 2011. Additional information about the Simplified Summer Food Program is available from Lynda Westphal

Meals for the Summer Food Service Program must be served in accordance with federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC, 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY)."The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.” 

~ Melissa M.

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