This summer, approximately 38,000 Connecticut children will be able to receive free meals through the 2012 federal Summer Food Service Program for Children, but the agency still needs to find qualified local sponsoring organizations to hlep distribute the meals. Last year, more than 36,317 eligible children were served at 514 locations statewide through 44 locally sponsored programs.
If children are to receive a nutritious meal during the summer break, local organizations’ assistance is critical.
The Summer Food Service Program for Children is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and serves as the summer extension of the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, which provide meals for students during the school year.
Local Summer Food Service Program activities are coordinated by each state’s department of education. The Connecticut State Department of Education is now accepting applications for its 2012 summer program.
Local Summer Food Service Program sponsors may include public or private nonprofit school food authorities; state, local, municipal or county governments; residential public or private nonprofit summer camps; public or private nonprofit colleges or universities participating in the National Youth Sports Program; and private nonprofit organizations.
Any one of these groups or organizations that are able to verify that at least half the children in their potential service area qualify for free or reduced-price school meals may apply to be a sponsor. A child’s eligibility for free or reduced-price school meals or free summer meals is based on his or her parent’s income.