January 31, 2022

The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to help feed children and provide supervised activities this summer. Summer months can pose a challenge to children receiving proper nutrition because school is not in session. Community programs and organizations can fill this gap through the SFSP to ensure children across the state receive the nutrition they need.

County boards of education, local government agencies and other nonprofit organizations are eligible to participate in the SFSP, which is open to children (ages 18 and under) in low-income areas. Sites often include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps, which offer an alternative to the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program that operate during the school year.

“Supporting these sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure all children have uninterrupted access to nutritious meals this summer,” said State Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Children require consistent, quality nutrition for the development of their minds and bodies. We want to make certain every child returns to the classroom in the fall ready to learn.”

An average of 202,273 children in West Virginia, about 78% of school children, depend on free and reduced-price meals at school. It is vitally important to continue to offer meals in the summer months when children are at their highest risk for food insecurity.

“In 2021, 571 Summer Food Service Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia, and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2022,” said Amanda Harrison, director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “We encourage new organizations in communities all across the Mountain State to join us so the number of sites can grow and more children have access to healthy meals.”

Organizations interested in becoming a 2022 summer sponsor should contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves with the Office of Child Nutrition at cboehm@k12.wv.us or snsnuffer@k12.wv.us or by calling (833) 627-2833. Summer sites will be announced in June 2022.

For media inquiries, contact Christy Day, West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications, at 304-558-2699 or Christy.Day@k12.wv.us.

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