The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is looking for financially viable organizations that can serve meals to children during the summer months.
Organizations that participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) will be reimbursed by VDH for the meals served.
Participating sponsors will also be reimbursed for certain allowable administrative costs associated with serving the meals. In addition, all participating organizations receive technical assistance from VDH staff.
All participating sponsors are required to attend the SFSP State agency training provided by VDH. Training dates will be publicized on VDH’s website and on the CHAAMPS homepage when finalized.
Department of Health officials said that hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to an individual’s learning process and that lack of access to nutritional meals during the summer sets the stage for a student’s poor performance once the next school year begins.
The SFSP fills the nutrition gap when school’s out and children do not have access to the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs.
Virginia’s SFSP operates in schools, public housing centers, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks and churches. Sponsors that may qualify for this program include: public or private nonprofit schools; local, municipal, county, state or Federal governments; public or private nonprofit residential summer camps; and private nonprofit organizations including faith- or community-based organizations.
Organizations interested in obtaining more information about the Summer Food Service Program or in requesting an application to participate should call VDH at (804) 864-7800. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also offering a series of free webinars for organizations and individuals interested in participating in the SFSP.
If becoming a sponsor is not a good fit, but an organization is interested in feeding children in a specific area during the summer months, VDH officials encourage partnering with an existing sponsor and participating as a meal site under that sponsor. In that case, those organizations may call the number above and ask for a list of existing area sponsors.
The deadline for submitting an application to participate in this year’s Summer Food Service Program is April 14 for sponsors requesting a June advance; May 12 for sponsors requesting a July advance; June 16 for sponsors requesting an August advance; 30 days prior to operation for all sponsors. Applications cannot be accepted after June 15.