Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Adam Baker
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550
abaker@doe.in.gov

INDIANAPOLIS--The Indiana Department of Education encourages all eligible local schools and community organizations to sponsor a summer meals program. Local organizations may also consider partnering with an existing sponsor such as a school corporation to open a meal service site in areas where children may lack good nutrition when school is not in session. In 2016, more than 250 Indiana sponsors served nearly three million meals. However, fewer than 20 percent of all low-income Hoosier children who receive free or reduced lunch during the school year received free meals during the summer months.

“We encourage schools and community organizations to partner on this important initiative,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “With your help, we can make a big difference in all of our communities and keep Indiana students healthy and ready to learn.”

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses local sponsors that serve healthy free meals and snacks to children 18 years and younger in low-income areas of the state. Sponsorship is open to public and private nonprofit groups, including local governments, religious organizations, summer camps, recreation centers, and others. In addition to providing free meal service in a local community, many sponsors offer additional educational or physical activities and may partner with other organizations to do so.

The application deadline for potential Summer Food Service Program sponsors this year is April 30, 2017. All sponsors receive training on how to plan, operate and monitor a successful program. Attendance is required for all new sponsors. For more information on becoming a sponsor or to sign up for the training workshop, visit the Department’s website at: www.doe.in.gov/nutrition/summer-food-service-program.

Since its inception over 40 years ago, the Summer Food Service Program has been funded and operated by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by states. Participating organizations are reimbursed for meals served and must adhere to USDA regulations regarding meal service and recordkeeping.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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