Summer Food Service Program needs sponsors

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program is seeking sponsor organizations on all islands to help provide children in low-income communities with free meals during the summer months.

The SFSP provides nutritious meals that help children to learn, play and grow during the summer break when many schools are not in session.

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Schools, public agencies, churches and private nonprofit organizations can apply to be SFSP sponsors. Sponsoring organizations receive reimbursements for serving healthy meals and snacks at approved sites to children and teenagers ages 18 and younger. Sponsors are encouraged to provide educational or recreational activities.

“Summer food service programs are vital to many of our keiki who normally rely on school meals for most of their daily intake,” said state Department of Education Superintendent Christina Kishimoto. “Well-rounded, nutritious meals are a priority for children who need regular fuel for learning, physical activities and growth.”

In 2017, 20 nonprofit organizations, preschools, churches, parks and housing facilities served 81,450 lunches at 93 locations throughout the state. The DOE also served 137,231 lunches at 60 school locations on the Big Island, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and Maui.

The Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs will conduct workshops for new and returning sponsors on the Big Island, Maui, Kauai and Oahu from March 14-23. Personnel responsible for administering the SFSP will be required to attend.

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The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

For more information, contact Daniel Sutcharitkul or Jennifer Dang at the Hawaii Child Nutrition Programs at 587-3600.