Did you know that here in Delaware 129,395 children receive meals during the school year through the free or reduced-price lunch program? When school ends for the summer so does lunch for many youngsters. Unfortunately, only 27 percent of eligible students receive meals through summer feeding programs.
To help bridge the nutrition gap this summer, we will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). SFSP is a federally-funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and locally by the Delaware Department of Education.
Beginning June 20 we will prepare and distribute free meals to qualified children’s feeding sites throughout the state. Sites include faith-based organizations, summer camps, daycares and other centers where children congregate during the summer months. For the second year the program will also be extended to low-income neighborhoods. To host a neighborhood program, an adult must contact the Food Bank for an application to determine eligibility, attend a training session and submit weekly paperwork.
To qualify for free meals, sites must operate in low-income areas where at least half of the children (up to 18 years of age) are eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program. There are no fees associated with the program, and meals are available for delivery seven days a week.
“With skyrocketing gas and food prices, thousands of Delawareans are struggling to make ends meet,” said Patricia Beebe, our President & CEO. “And with summer right around the corner, thousands of Delaware children will have difficulties accessing nutritious foods without the much-needed free and reduced-price school lunch program. No child should go hungry over the summer months. We encourage all eligible community organizations and groups to get involved this summer in helping to alleviate childhood hunger by signing up as a summer nutrition site.”
Children can expect to see a menu of healthy, kid-friendly foods including peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, apples, yogurt, milk, juice and more.
Sites interested in hosting a summer nutrition program in New Castle County may contact Stacy Stevens, Children’s Nutrition Program Coordinator, at (302) 444-8128 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Sites in Sussex County may contact Holly Johnson, Food Bank of Delaware Child and Adult Programs Coordinator, at (302) 424-3301 ext 106 or email@example.com. Sites in Kent County may contact the Department of Education at (302) 735-4060.
The success of the Summer Nutrition Program is dependent on volunteers! Thousands of volunteers are needed to make sure no child goes without nutritious meals! To sign up, please visit our online volunteer scheduling site, www.fbd.volunteerhub.com, or contact our volunteer department! New Castle County: firstname.lastname@example.org Kent/Sussex Counties: email@example.com.