With the help of 245 sponsoring agencies in 2012, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provided over 3.1 million free meals and snacks to low-income Hoosier children. Despite the progress, many Indiana youngsters continue to face a daily struggle with hunger.
“One in four Hoosier children is at risk of hunger. That’s nearly 360,000 children, and they live in every county of our state. During the school year these kids have access to nutritious meals, but when school is out they are particularly vulnerable to hunger. Many local organizations step up to focus on feeding children during the summer, and we are hopeful that number will continue to grow this year in areas of high need or where no access to summer meals is available,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, the Executive Director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, the State Association of Food Banks.
The Indiana Department of Education is seeking qualified organizations to sponsor the SFSP in the underserved areas of the state, including 11 Indiana counties where additional sites are needed. The SFSP feeds low-income children in the summer months when school is not in session.
The SFSP, created in 1968, is a federally-funded program operated through the U.S State Department of Agriculture and administered by the states. Organizations are reimbursed for providing nutritious meals to eligible children in low-income areas during the summer. Sponsors who follow USDA regulations are compensated through reimbursement and include schools, summer camps, community centers, and other organizations that focus on the well-being of children and families.
The Indiana Department of Education will host training workshops for sponsors in Indianapolis and around the state. To attend a workshop, please contact Marcia Yurczyk or Tina Skinner at the Indiana Department of Education at (317) 232-6610 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. The application deadline to become a SFSP sponsor is April 30, 2013.
For more information on the SFSP contact Daniel Altman, Executive Director of Communications, at (317) 232-6615 or go to http://www.doe.in.gov/student-services/nutrition/summer-food-service-program.