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KSDE seeking sponsors for Summer Food Service Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture

During the school year, nearly half of Kansas children qualify for reduced-price or free meals. To help fill the need for nutritious meals during the summer months, the Kansas State Department of Education is seeking sponsors willing to provide nutritious meals to Kansas children during the summer months.

According to a Jan. 31 news release from the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), the state’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) aims to ensure children in needy areas continue to receive nutritious meals during summer vacation when the low-cost or free school meals provided through the Child Nutrition Programs of the USDA are no longer available.

SFSP sponsors receive reimbursements for documenting and serving healthy meals to children between the ages of one to 18 at approved sites. These nutritional opportunities help keep children ready to learn when school resumes. This is a critical component of reaching the Kansas State Board of Education’s vision for education — Kansas leads the world in the success of each student.

Meals can be served free to children in areas with school or census eligibility based on free and reduced-price meal eligibility. Communities that already have sponsors still have needs, such as additional meal sites, volunteers or activities, said Cheryl Johnson, director of KSDE’s Child Nutrition and Wellness.

SFSP meals can complement supervised activities that are safe, fun and filled with learning opportunities, Johnson said, and children who continue to receive healthy meals throughout the summer feel better, behave better and go back to school ready to learn, Johnson said.

Organizations interested in serving nutritious meals to children through a summer program can call Kelly Chanay with KSDE’s CNW program at (785) 296-2276. For more information, visit www.kn-eat.org and click on the Summer Food Service Program tab.

Interested parties may also check with their communities to find out what services are needed.