Federal Funds Available to Provide Free Summer Meals for Kids - Southern Maryland Headline News

Federal Funds Available to Provide Free Summer Meals for Kids


Maryland State Department of Education Seeks Agencies to Serve More Children

BALTIMORE (Jan. 16, 2009) - The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) announced that federal funds are available to assist public and private nonprofit agencies in providing free meals and snacks to children this summer. The funds are available through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that helps children receive the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow throughout the summer months.

Maryland is seeking additional agencies to sponsor the Program or serve as a site to ensure children will have access to nutritious meals and return to school ready to learn.

"In a struggling economy compounded by the rising cost of food, the Summer Food Service Program is an increasingly important resource to provide nutritionally balanced meals and snacks to children during the summer months," said Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, State Superintendent of Schools.

The SFSP provides reimbursement to agencies 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 or when 50 percent of children enrolled in a program qualify. Most agencies may be reimbursed for up to two meals or snacks a day per child. Some, including migrant programs and camps, may be reimbursed for up to three meals daily per child. SFSP agencies include private nonprofit organizations, government agencies, public or nonprofit private school systems, and summer camps.

The SFSP is open to children and teens up to age 18 and to people over 18 who are mentally or physically disabled. It is an equal opportunity program. Discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability is prohibited.

Agencies interested in the opportunity to operate the SFSP should contact MSDE at 410-767-0225. The deadline for applications is May 22, 2009. For information about agencies that participate in SFSP, visit www.mdsummermeals.org or call the Summer Food Hotline at 1-877-731-9300.

Source: Maryland State Department of Education

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