Sponsors Needed for Summer Food Service Program

Monday, January 31, 2011
By Allyson Hagen

Sponsors Needed for Summer Food Service Program


Helena, MT—The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is accepting applications for the 2011 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) from public or nonpublic nonprofit school food authorities; all local, county, municipal, or state governmental entities; migrant programs; nonprofit agencies; and residential camps interested and eligible in sponsoring a Summer Food Service Program.


Through the Summer Food Service Program, meals are served to children who might otherwise go hungry and are often provided in conjunction with educational and recreational activities.   


"There is a real need for children to have access to healthy meals during the summer," said State Superintendent Denise Juneau.  "Children can access summer feeding sites at schools, summer programs, parks, swimming pools, churches, apartment complexes and other locations in the community." 


One in 10 people in Montana live in households where there is not always enough food. With more than 85,000 children living in such households, hunger is a real issue for Montana families.  Participation in the Summer Food Service Program grew in 2010. Sites provided more than 422,000 meals, a 10 percent increase over meals served in 2009.


“Unfortunately, too many children miss out on using this important program because their families don’t know about it,” said Juneau. "By connecting children to summer food sites, we can help them stay healthy and active during the summer months so they are better prepared for success when they return to school in the fall."


Sponsors must verify that the site where they plan to serve meals is located in an area where at least half the resident children are from households with incomes at or below the eligibility level for free or reduced price school meals. In most instances, current year school data provides the most accurate economic status of a particular community. Potential and existing sponsors can request data from the schools or from the OPI to determine eligible program sites.


Sponsors may obtain SFSP applications and additional information by contacting the OPI, School Nutrition Programs, at PO Box 202501, Helena MT  59620 or telephone (406) 444-2521 or (406) 444-2501.  The deadline for new sponsors to apply for the SFSP is May 20, 2011.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating 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, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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