Sponsoring Organizations Help Provide Nutritious Meals to Tens of Thousands of Children
The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is now accepting applications from interested organizations for the 2019 Summer Food Service Program.
Last year, the program provided more 1,677,000 meals to over 37,000 eligible children at 641 locations statewide.
The Summer Food Service Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and serves as the summer extension of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, in order to provide meals for children during summer when families do not have access to school meals.
Local Summer Food Service Program sponsors may include public or private nonprofit school food authorities; state, local, municipal or county governments; residential public or private nonprofit summer camps; public or private nonprofit colleges or universities participating in the National Youth Sports Program; and private nonprofit organizations. Any one of these groups or organizations able to verify that at least half the children in their potential service area qualify for free or reduced-price school meals may apply to be a sponsor.
The CSDE has identified several communities with neighborhoods eligible to host a Summer Food Service Program site. Eligible neighborhoods are those where at least 50 percent or more of the income levels of families in the area are at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Additional qualified local organizations are especially needed in these municipalities: Bristol, Chaplin, East Windsor, Enfield, Fairfield, Griswold, Hamden, Plymouth, Shelton, Sprague and Wallingford.
All sponsors must agree to serve meals to any eligible child regardless of his or her race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Summer Food Service Program sponsors are reimbursed according to predetermined U.S. Department of Agriculture reimbursement rates. Meals must comply with federal nutrition standards.
Applications for program participation and further information are available through the Connecticut State Department of Education, Bureau of Health/Nutrition, Family Services and Adult Education, 450 Columbus Blvd., Suite 504, Hartford, CT 06103. Additional information on the Summer Food Service Program can be found here
Individuals looking to access summer meals can look for Summer Meal Locations as the school year ends by contacting 2-1-1 Connecticut or End Hunger CT!'s Summer Food Site Finder at www.CTSummerMeals.org.