P. O. BOX 2120

April 23, 1999


TO: Division Superintendents
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, 


Attachment:     A hard copy of this memo and its attach-
                ment will be sent to the superintendent's