State seeks organizations to provide meals to children during summer months

Sumer Food Program for Kids

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is looking for organizations throughout the state to help feed thousands of children who would otherwise go without meals during the summer months when school is not in session.

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses organizations for meals they serve to children under the age of 18 who are at risk of not having enough to eat during the summer months. The program is one of the ways Missouri is working to fight childhood hunger. During the school year, nearly half of the children in Missouri qualify for, and receive, a free or reduced-price school breakfast and/or lunch. Organizations that choose to sponsor the SFSP will help ensure that children in needy areas of the state continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.

“Preventing food insecurity in children is an important step in improving the health of Missourians,” said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS Director. “Without the assistance of organizations across the state, many of Missouri’s children would go hungry during the summer months.”

Organizations eligible to participate in the program as sponsors include schools, faith-based organizations, camps, private nonprofit agencies, and local government entities. The sites are required to be located in areas where at least half of the children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.

The federally-funded program is administered by DHSS. The department will accept applications from organizations March 1 through May 15 to participate in the program. Organizations interested in serving nutritious meals to children through the summer are requested to apply. Training in the requirements for the program will be provided.

More information about the Summer Food Service Program is available online at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp or by telephone at 888-435-1464 (toll-free).  Hearing-and speech- impaired citizens can dial 711. Potential sponsors may also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.