Groups sought to serve meals

Posted: February 18, 2013

Star staff report

Is your organization interested in feeding children in the Winchester area during the summer months?

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is looking for financially viable groups that can serve meals to children in the summertime.

Organizations that participate in the Summer Food Service Program will be reimbursed by VDH for the meals that are served, as well as the administrative costs of serving the meals. In addition, all participants receive technical assistance from VDH. New participants are required to attend Summer Food Service Program training.

“Virginia’s children need nutritious meals all year long to keep them healthy and ready to learn,”a VDH press release states. “The Summer Food Service Program fills the nutrition gap when school’s out.”

Virginia’s Summer Food Service Program operates in schools, public housing centers, playgrounds, camps, parks and churches. Sponsors that might qualify for this program include: public or private nonprofit schools; local, municipal, county, state or federal governments; public or private nonprofit residential summer camps; and private nonprofit organizations including faith- or community-based organizations.

Organizations interested in obtaining more information about the Summer Food Service Program or in requesting an application to participate should call VDH at 877-618-7282 or visit its Summer Food Service Program website.

If your organization is interested in feeding children but does not want to manage the sponsor requirements, another option is becoming a meal site under another sponsor. Call the toll-free number above and ask for a list of existing sponsors in your area that may be able to add your organization as a meal location.

The deadline for submitting an application to participate in this year’s Summer Food Service Program is April 26.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the USDA and administered by VDH.

The program provides nutritional meals in economically disadvantaged areas to children age 18 and younger and to students over the age of 18 who are mentally or physically disabled. It is an equal opportunity program serving meals at no charge to all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex or disability.