The Virginia Department of Education is seeking partners to participate in the commonwealth’s Summer Food Service Program this year to ensure that children have access to nutritious meals during months when school is not in session.
The department reimburses approved organizations for meals served and for associated administrative costs. In addition, all participants receive training and technical assistance from VDOE.
The Summer Food Service Program operates at sites such as schools, public housing centers, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks and churches. Organizations that may qualify to participate in the program include public and private schools, local governments, public and nonprofit private residential summer camps, and nonprofit faith-based and community-based organizations.
“Summer meal programs play a critical role in bridging the gap between school years and ensuring that children have access to nutritious meals during the summer months and are ready to learn when the new school year begins in August or September,” Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane said. “I’d also like to express my gratitude to our 2020 summer food service partners for their amazing and heroic efforts to keep children fed during the pandemic.”
Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Virginia’s 139 Summer Food Service Program partner organizations served more than 14 million meals to children between June and August last year.
The program — which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — allows organizations to combine a feeding program with another activity in communities where at least 50% of the children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.