Principals' Memo No. 1003-16

COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education

May 31, 2016

TO:  Principals

FROM:  John W. Haun, Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT:  Summer Meals Outreach

As the 2015-2016 school year nears completion and the summer months approach, the Virginia Departments of Education and Health would like to make school principals aware of the availability of summer meal programs (through the USDA Summer Food Service Program) that can benefit students in your area when school is out. 

Good nutrition is essential for good health and effective learning every day, year-round.  When school is not in session, many children lose access to nutritious meals.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has identified Virginia as one of several states with pockets of persistent poverty where hunger is a prevalent issue.  USDA has asked partners in Virginia, such as schools, local governments, and nonprofit organizations, to focus their efforts on expanding the availability of summer meal programs and providing information to households on how to access summer meals for their children.  The USDA Summer Food Service Program is the flagship summer meals program available in Virginia.

Schools are one of the partners that can help to bridge the summer nutrition gap for children.  Other state, local, and private, nonprofit partners in Virginia that have either provided summer meals to students or helped to spread the word about the summer meal programs are:

School principals are asked to become partners in bridging the summer nutrition gap for children in your area.  Use the Summer Food Service Program School Toolkit, attached to this memo, to learn more.  Please share the summer meal information below with the parents and guardians of children who attend your school.

If you have questions or want more information about the USDA Summer Food Service Program, please contact the school nutrition director in your school division or Courtney Jones, Virginia Department of Health (VDH) certification and training supervisor, at (804) 864-7820 or courtney.jones@vdh.virginia.gov.  Thank you for your help in conducting this required outreach to provide information about the USDA Summer Food Service Program in your locality.

JWH/LAF/idl

Attachment:

  1. Summer Food Service Program School Toolkit (Word)