P. O. BOX 2120
March 27, 1998


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Daniel S. Timberlake, Assistant Superintendent for Finance
SUBJECT: Summer Food Service Program

  As program plans are made 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 benefited from the SFSP is small
  compared to the number of students who benefit from 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.  Last summer, schools in  23 Virginia school
  divisions sponsored the SFSP.  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.

  Applications should be submitted no later than May 16, 1998. 
  If  an application is made early, more time will be available
  to plan and organize the summer program.

  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


  Attachments: A hard copy of this memo and its attachments
                 will be sent to the superintendent's office