WV Department of Education Seeks Organizations to Help Feed Kids
The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer months.
County boards of education and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which encourages communities to provide safe places for children and teenagers 18 and under. Organizations receive funds to provide meals to complement recreational and educational programs. Feeding sites include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps.
While children have access to school meals throughout the school year, those meals end when school is out for the summer months which puts many students at risk for poor nutrition.
“Promoting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “Children benefit nutritionally by receiving complete, wholesome meals, while parents benefit by stretching their food dollars.”
The SFSP was created to ensure children in lower-income areas continue to receive nutritious meals during summer break. An average of 178,000 children in West Virginia, about 63 percent of school children, depend on free and reduced-price meals at school, yet only about 10,000 receive the free meals provided by the SFSP.
“In 2015, 485 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2016,” said Rick Goff, Executive Director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “We are hopeful new organizations will opt to join us so the number of sites can grow and more children have access to healthy meals.”
Organizations interested in participating in the 2016 Summer Food Program should contact Cybele Boehm with the Office of Child Nutrition at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (304) 558-2709.
Summer sites will be announced in May 2016.
For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699 or Kristin.Anderson@k12.wv.us.
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