We are excited to announce the first ever National Summer Food Service Program Week! Today marks day one of a week-long celebration to raise awareness and make sure that no child goes hungry this summer. You may have heard of National School Lunch and School Breakfast Weeks and wondered why we didn’t have a week dedicated to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Well, we wondered the same thing and we’re excited to start a new tradition this year!
The SFSP is an important part of our nation’s hunger safety-net. Unfortunately, more than 8 million households with children were food insecure at our last calculation in 2009 and we know that a child’s risk of going hungry goes up during the summer months. That’s where SFSP comes in. The SFSP is a federally funded program designed to feed kids and teens healthy meals during the summer. It operates through partnerships between the USDA, State Agencies, and local governments and organizations. The program helps to feed kids at sites all over the country from schools and recreation centers, to camps and community organizations.
This week, you’ll be hearing a lot about the Summer Food Service Program. We’ll be sharing information on this blog, through our Twitter feed and we’ll report from a variety of National Summer Food Service Program kick-off events throughout the country. We’ll let you know how you can help, where to find more information about getting involved, and we’ll share stories from many successful programs all over the country.
Participation in the SFSP isn’t where we’d like it to be. The gap between kids and teens who eat school meals during the school year and the few that eat summer meals is too large. We need to make sure that kids continue to eat healthy meals all summer long to make sure they return to school in the fall healthy and ready to learn. With the help of partners across the country, we’re determined to spread the message that the Summer Food Service Program is Food That’s in When School is Out and we hope you’ll help.
Stay tuned for more, and Happy National Summer Food Service Program Week!