SUPTS. MEMO. NO. 81
April 23, 1999
|FROM:||Paul D. Stapleton
Superintendent of Public Instruction
|SUBJECT:||Summer Food Service Program|
As you plan for the coming summer, we want to encourage you to participate in a valuable nutrition program that is available for children in your school communities. The federally funded Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) financially supports nutritious summer meals for children who live in areas where poor economic conditions exist and who would be deprived of the benefits of healthful, nutritious meals if this program was not available. Statistics on students who are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches indicate there are many more students who could benefit from the Summer Food Service Program. The number of Virginia children who have taken advantage of the benefits of the SFSP is small compared to the number of students who participate in the National School Lunch Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Education are very aware of the close connection between nutrition and learning. For this reason, both agencies encourage you to make a commitment to the future well-being of children by encouraging your schools to provide nutritious meals through the Summer Food Service Program. The priority of the U. S. Department of Agriculture is to reach areas where poor economic conditions exist. If the number of children eligible to receive free or reduced- price meals under the National School Lunch Program exceeds 50 percent in one or more of your schools, you are encouraged to consider this program. Free meals are available to all children enrolled in those schools that meet the criteria for the program. Schools have known service areas and knowledgeable personnel which makes them more ready to offer SFSP. In other situations, the school food service vended the meals to another agency- sponsored SFSP. Federal reimbursement is provided for both meals and administrative costs. In Virginia, the SFSP is administered by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Office of the Food and Nutrition Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture. While the regional office is located in New Jersey, it maintains several field offices that work locally with SFSP in Virginia. These offices have personnel to provide assistance with this program. Enclosed is a fact sheet with further information on the operation of the SFSP. Once again we encourage you to offer this nutrition program in your schools if there is an economic need. If you would like application materials or additional information, please contact the USDA at (609) 259-5134 or write Attention: Summer Food Service Program, Mercer Corporate Park, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, 300 Corporate Boulevard, Robbinsville, NJ 08691-1598. Deadline for submitting an application to USDA is May 7, 1999. PDS/idl Attachment: A hard copy of this memo and its attach- ment will be sent to the superintendent's office.