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ODE seeks schools, community groups to offer summer food service

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Department of Education is seeking more schools, community organizations and tribes to participate in its Summer Food Service Program this summer, to help ensure that children and teens receive the nutritious meals they need during the summer months.

The goal of the SFSP is to ensure children 18 and younger, who benefit from meal programs during the school year, continue to have that same access to nutritious meals when schools are closed, or students are unable to attend school in person. During the pandemic, Oregon has seen record numbers of meals served to children via the Summer Food Service Program.

“Access to summer meals is an important way to ensure that children continue to receive the nutrition they need, to learn and grow, when school is not in session,” said ODE Summer Meals Outreach Coordinator Jessica Visinsky. “The extension of summer meals during the pandemic has provided continuity for families and allowed schools and organizations to provide the support that so many children need.”

It is important to expand the program and close the hunger gap in all areas of the state, and ODE’s Child Nutrition Program is reaching out to ensure that children continue to receive meals throughout the summer.

Apply to Sponsor a Summer Meals Program

Organizations must enter into an agreement with ODE to run USDA Summer Food Service Programs. Schools, non-profit community organizations, local government agencies, camps and faith-based organizations that have the ability to manage a food service program may be SFSP sponsors. Sponsors are reimbursed for serving healthy meals and snacks to children and may manage multiple sites.

Sites are places in the community where children receive meals in a safe and supervised environment. Sites may be located in a variety of settings, including schools, parks, community centers, health clinics, hospitals, libraries, migrant centers, apartment complexes and faith-based locations. Sites work directly with local sponsors.

For information about how to apply for the Summer Food Service Program, please contact ode.communitynutrition@ode.state.or.us. The deadline to submit an application to become a Summer Food Service Sponsor is May 14, 2021.

Community

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

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