The Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is now accepting applications for organizations interested in participating in the 2018 Summer Food Service Program for children. The program, financed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service, provides free meals to children from targeted communities and is designed to maintain and expand non-profit food programs for children during the summer months.
“Proper nutrition helps position students for success, but it becomes particularly challenging during the summer months, when students lose access to in-school meals. The Summer Food Service Program fills that gap and helps ensure student health and wellness all year long,” said Ken Wagner, Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education. “As we work to expand summer meal programs and engage as many young people as possible, we’re hopeful that more communities and organizations will step up to provide this important service.”
To participate in the summer program, sponsors must be public or private non-profit school food authorities, organizations, residential summer camps, nonresidential day camps, or units of local or state governments. To be approved, a site must serve an area with at least 50 percent of the children eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or qualify as a residential camp or a nonresidential day camp. Meals must be made available to all children enrolled in the program without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age.
For more information on the program, call the Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Statewide Efficiencies, at 222-4253.