DE Food Bank Bridge Summer Nutrition Gap

May 15 2012 /

Delaware Food Bank

When school ends for the summer, so does lunch for many youngsters in Delaware. To help bridge the nutrition gap this summer, the Food Bank of Delaware is encouraging community partners to help serve free meals to children in need through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

SFSP is a federally-funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and locally by the Delaware Department of Education.

Beginning June 11 the food bank, with help from thousands of volunteers, will prepare and distribute free meals to qualified children’s feeding sites throughout the state. Sites include faith-based organizations, summer camps, daycares and other centers where children congregate during the summer months. Neighborhoods are also qualified to serve meals through the program. To host a neighborhood program, an adult must contact the food bank for an application to determine eligibility, attend a training session and submit weekly paperwork.

To qualify for free meals, sites must operate in low-income areas where at least half of the children (up to 18 years of age) are eligible for the free or reduced-price meal program. There are no fees associated with the program, and meals are available to serve seven days a week.

“The summer months are some of the most difficult for families struggling to make ends meet,” said Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware President & CEO. “With summer vacation right around the corner, thousands of Delaware children will have difficulties accessing nutritious foods without school meal programs. No child should go hungry over the summer months. We encourage all eligible community organizations and groups to get involved this summer in helping to alleviate childhood hunger by signing up as a summer nutrition site.”

Children can expect to see a menu of healthy, kid-friendly foods including turkey and cheese, apples, yogurt, snacks, milk, juice and more.

Sites interested in hosting a summer nutrition program may contact Stacy Stevens, Children’s Nutrition Program Coordinator, at (302) 444-8128 or sstevens@fbd.org. More information can also be found on the Food Bank of Delaware’s website – http://www.fbd.org/program/children’s-nutrition-program/sfsp/

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