OSDE child nutrition programs seek Summer Food Service sponsors

Oklahoma State Department of Education

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OKLAHOMA CITY (Jan. 16, 2019) – Sponsoring organizations for the 2019 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) are now being sought by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) Child Nutrition programs. Eligible sponsors include public or governmental agencies, private, nonprofit residential summer camps and private, non-profit organizations.

The program provides nutritious meals at no charge to children during the summer, when school is not in session. The focus is on children from needy areas who participate in summer educational or recreational programs and for eligible children enrolled in summer camps. Children age 18 and under may receive meals through SFSP. A person 19 years of age and over who has a mental or physical disability (as determined by a state or local educational agency) and who participates during the school year in a public or private non-profit school program (established for the mentally or physically disabled) is also eligible to receive meals.

Needy areas are defined as those in which half of the children are eligible for free- and reduced-price meals in school. Eligibility may also be determined by census information or individual eligibility of children. Financial assistance is given to approved sponsors to assist with the cost of obtaining, preparing and serving food under the program, including administrative costs.

Many Oklahoma communities do not have a summer food service program sponsor, an issue Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, would like to address.

“It is imperative that eligible children have access to no-cost, healthy meals throughout the summer months to ensure a continuum of nutrition and learning,” she said. “Sponsors are critical to the success of the Summer Food Service Program. We are grateful for our returning sponsors and encourage new sponsors to join us in combatting hunger and the so-called ‘summer slide’ so that when children return to school in August, they do so healthy and ready to learn.”

To become a SFSP sponsor and to learn more about the required upcoming trainings, contact Dee Houston at (405) 522-4943, (405) 420-9367, or [email protected].

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.