We think of summer time as a time when kids are free to play with their friends and enjoy time off from school. But it is during the summer months when many children report going hungry the most. If you’re wondering how you can help prevent kids from going hungry when school is out, you should know that USDA encourages organizations to provide meals to kids through our Summer Food Service Program.
The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded program –administered by States— that reimburses organizations for meals served to children during the summer. Schools, churches, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, and camps can serve meals in neighborhoods with high percentages of low-income families. These are safe and familiar locations where children naturally congregate during the summer. Faith-based, community and private non-profit organizations can make a difference in the lives of hungry children by sponsoring a site and participating in the summer food service program.
- A Catholic Charities Chicago SFSP Participant enjoying a healthy lunch through the Summer Food Service Program. (2011 SFSP contest winner photo)
During the school year, 22 million kids each day eat a school lunch at a free or reduced price. After school is out, about 2.5 million kids eat meals provided through the summer food service program. In order to increase that number, we need your help.
That’s why we are holding free webinar sessions to teach individuals and organizations how they can help feed kids through the Summer Food Service Program. The sessions will review the program and cover resources and tools available to help you get started, and highlight successful programs and outreach practices from around the country. There will also be plenty of time to ask USDA staff any questions you may have.
Participation in the webinars is free and there are many dates available to choose from:
Tuesday, 12/13, 11:00am – 12:00pm EST - Public Session
Thursday, 12/15, 1:00pm – 2:00pm EST - Public Session
Monday, 12/19, 11:00am – 12:00pm EST - Public Session
Wednesday, 12/21, 2:00pm – 3:00pm EST - FNS Outreach Coalition
Wednesday, 1/4, 2:00pm – 3:00pm EST - Public Session
Wednesday, 1/11, 5:00pm – 6:00pm EST - Public Session
Tuesday, 1/24, 6:00pm – 7:00pm EST - Public Session
Thursday, 2/2, 11:00am – 12:00pm EST - Public Session
Thursday, 2/23, 3:00pm – 4:00pm EST - Public Session
To learn more about the Summer Food Service Program, please visit: www.summerfood.usda.gov.
Together we can tackle childhood hunger and ensure kids are receiving the nutritious meals they need through the summer, and all year long. We look forward working with you!
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At Central Illinois Foodbank, we work with our local Boys and Girls Clubs to provide a hot, nutritious meal to children attending the program- called Kids' Cafe.
Hunger doesn't fade away while school is out of session- it's an issue 365 days a year. We're working hard to make sure no children go hungry when school's out, too.