AUSTIN — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today announced the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications for its 2017 summer nutrition programs. These programs help feed children who do not have access to nutritious meals when schools close for summer.
“The Summer Food Service Program connects community organizations with federal funding to provide healthy meals for Texas children who may not otherwise have enough to eat during the months when school is not in session,” Commissioner Miller said. “No child in Texas should go hungry. I encourage any eligible organization to join us in the effort to help feed children in Texas this summer.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 12 percent of Texas households are considered food insecure, meaning every member of the household does not have consistent access to good nutrition. In partnership with USDA, TDA administers two federally funded programs to help address childhood hunger during the summer vacation. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides schools, nonprofit summer camps, governmental entities and other nonprofit organizations such as churches with the opportunity to serve meals to children across Texas. Schools have the option of participating in the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or SFSP, allowing them to continue meal service after the academic year ends.
Organizations partner with TDA to serve meals at sites in designated areas, such as areas where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Meals will be provided to individuals age 18 and under without charge, as well as adults over the age of 18 who are determined by a state educational agency or local public educational agency of a state to have a mental or physical disability and who participate in a public or nonprofit private school program established for people with mental or physical disabilities.
All meal sites must be sponsored by an organization that has a contract with TDA. Approved SSO and SFSP sponsors, operating in accordance with federal and state regulations, will be reimbursed for meals served to children. All new sponsors are required to take training courses before participating in SFSP. Some applications may require additional review, and sponsors are encouraged to visit www.summerfood.org to determine if their organization falls into this category. The SFSP application deadline for new sponsors and those requiring more thorough review is April 15, 2017. All other returning sponsors must apply by May 1, 2017. The deadline for all SSO applications is May 31, 2017.
For more information about TDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs, visit www.summerfood.org.
—Texas Department of Agriculture
For more articles out of Texas, click here.