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Federal Funds Available to Serve Summer Meals to Children, Teens
MSDE Seeks to Build on 2016 Success
BALTIMORE – The Maryland State Department of Education has announced that federal funds are available to assist public and private nonprofit organizations in serving free, nutritious meals to children and teens this summer through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program.
More than 396,000 Maryland children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals, but may not have access to nutritious meals during the summer when schools are closed. For these families, food insecurity increases during the summer months. The SFSP plays a vital role in ensuring children and teens do not experience hunger during the summer.
“The Summer Food Service Program fights hunger, reduces obesity, and promotes summer learning. Studies demonstrate that children from families with low incomes have higher rates of summer learning loss than their peers from families with higher incomes. For every child to succeed, they must have access to nutritious meals during out-of-school time periods,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, Maryland State Superintendent of Schools.
The SFSP provides reimbursement to organizations for meals and snacks served to children in areas where at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), or when 50 percent of the children enrolled in a summer program qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Most organizations may be reimbursed for up to two meals or snacks per child per day. Camps and migrant programs may be reimbursed for up to three meals per child each day. Meals and snacks must meet federal nutrition standards.
The Program is open to children and teens age 18 and under and to individuals over 18 who are mentally or physically disabled. Interested organizations should contact Ciara Lee, Management Associate, at 410-767-0199. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2017. For information about the SFSP, please visit www.eatsmartmaryland.org.
The Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are equal opportunity employers and providers.