The No Kid Hungry Kentucky campaign is working to increase access to Summer Food Service Program meals.
What is the Summer Food Service Program? Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does a child’s need for good nutrition. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow, throughout the summer months when they are out of school.
Click here to read NPR coverage about the program in Hopkins County Kentucky: Summer Program For Hungry Kids Gets Creative With Food Delivery.
Who is eligible to get meals? Children 18 and younger may receive free meals and snacks through SFSP. Meals and snacks are also available to persons with disabilities, over age 18, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.
How many meals do participants receive each day? At most sites, children receive either one or two reimbursable meals each day. Camps and sites that primarily serve migrant children may be approved to serve up to three meals to each child, each day.
“This program allowed us to provide many of our community’s youth with at least one meal a day. Many of the children in our community come from low income families, who live in government housing complexes. In many cases these families struggle to provide their children with food during the summer, while keeping their bills paid. This program allowed us to ease the financial burden on these families during the dreaded summer months, and most importantly provided these children with at least one meal a day.” – Testimony from a parent at Hopkins County Family YMCA
Why is SFSP important to our community? Children who miss school breakfast and lunch are more likely to be sick, absent or tardy, disruptive in class, and inattentive. They also score lower on achievement tests. Good nutrition is essential for learning in school. SFSP provides an opportunity to continue a child’s physical and social development while providing nutritious meals during long vacation periods from school. It helps children return to school ready to learn.
“I would like to say thank you to the summer feeding program. Providing daily meals to my kids released a strain on the house hold. With this program I was assured that my girls was given a good breakfast and lunch enabling me to put money towards bills and household essentials. I do pray that you continue your program in the future so more families can have the blessing that I have experienced. Thank you for each and everything that you do.”
Where does the program operate? Click here to find a site near you.
How can I help? Offer to help volunteer at a local site! Volunteers help with basics like transporting food, setting up or cleaning up a site. They also plan and do educational or recreational activities with the children. Volunteers can help by contacting local sponsors and offering to print flyers to post in neighborhoods. They can also help with securing donations, spreading the word about local sites, and organizing fundraisers at their local churches, PTA meetings, and charity groups. Contact us for more information.