BALTIMORE - The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) ranked in the top five in the country for increasing the number of children participating in Summer Nutrition programs from 2005 to 2006. This is the second year in a row that Maryland has achieved a top five ranking.
According to a report titled Hunger Doesn't Take A Vacation: Summer Nutrition Status Report 2007 released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) this month, Maryland increased summer nutrition participation 15 percent from July 2005 to July 2006. FRAC is a national organization working for more effective public and private policies to eradicate domestic hunger. Summer Nutrition includes two federal programs administered by MSDE - the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program.
The programs offer children from low-income families the kind of nutritious meals in the summer that they would receive during the school year. Last summer, sponsors of the Summer Food Service Program served more than 800,000 breakfasts and 1.3 million lunches to children throughout Maryland.
"Good nutrition is important for children's health and well-being year round and Maryland will continue to work hard to ensure that children who rely on school meals during the school year receive nutritious meals during the summer months," said State Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick. "Our responsibility to children doesn't end when school lets out. The summer nutrition programs serve as building blocks for children so that they can continue to grow and return to school ready to learn."
Public or private nonprofit school food authorities, local governments, National Youth Sports programs, and private nonprofit organizations are eligible to sponsor the Summer Food Service Program. For more information visit the MSDE website at www.marylandpublicschools.org or contact the School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch at 410-767-0214.