Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Secretary Vilsack Highlights Summer Food Service Program Week at No Kid Hungry Launch in Virginia

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

Today marks day two in the first ever National Summer Food Service Program Week, a weeklong awareness campaign to promote USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and other programs nationwide to feed low income kids.

Lots of things are happening around the country this week to help feed more hungry children this summer.  For example today is National Hunger Awareness Day – as designated by the U.S. Senate in a bipartisan resolution. This is very fitting, given that at least 17 million children in the United States face a higher risk of hunger in the summer. Also today Agriculture Secretary Vilsack joined Jeff Bridges, Share Our Strength founder Bill Shore, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and others to launch Virginia’s No Kid Hungry Campaign at Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) and No Kid Hungry National Campaign Spokesperson Jeff Bridges (white shirt), and Share Our Strength founder and Executive director Billy Shore (right) talk about what will it take to end hunger at the Virginia No Kid Hungry Campaign launch at Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, VA, on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Secretary Vilsack said, during his address “ We know our strength comes from out partnerships…” Campaign partners include Share our Strength, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, corporate partners, education leaders, government agencies and community organizations. The Virginia Summer Meals for Kids Program is funded by the USDA and provides free summer meals at hundreds of sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia, but according to a new report released today by the Food Research and Action Center, more than 80 percent of those eligible do not participate. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell stressed at the event that all parents who want free meals for their kids in need, can simply call 211 to find a summer meals site near them. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (right) and No Kid Hungry National Campaign Spokesperson Jeff Bridges (white shirt), and Share Our Strength founder and Executive director Billy Shore (right) talk about what will it take to end hunger at the Virginia No Kid Hungry Campaign launch at Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, VA, on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Secretary Vilsack said, during his address “ We know our strength comes from out partnerships…” Campaign partners include Share our Strength, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, corporate partners, education leaders, government agencies and community organizations. The Virginia Summer Meals for Kids Program is funded by the USDA and provides free summer meals at hundreds of sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia, but according to a new report released today by the Food Research and Action Center, more than 80 percent of those eligible do not participate. Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell stressed at the event that all parents who want free meals for their kids in need, can simply call 211 to find a summer meals site near them. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

During the school year, USDA provides free and reduced-priced school lunches to more than 21 million kids each day.  But when the school bell rings at the end of the year, fewer than 3 million kids are fed in summer meal programs.   We must –and will- do better!  The No Kid Hungry Campaign supports the administration’s goal to end childhood hunger and improve the nutrition of our nation’s kids.  The campaign will help get the word out to families about free summer meals with outreach materials such as postcards, posters and public service announcements.

All summer long, USDA and its partners are redoubling efforts to highlight the important nutrition benefits provided by the SFSP and other healthy meal options available for low-income children across the country.  Additionally,  Let’s Move! Faith and Communities, part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, will work with partners to host new feeding sites at congregations and neighborhood organizations.  The Corporation for National and Community Service’s 515 AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates will work at anti-hunger organizations across the country to feed more children in programs, including the SFSP.  And the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or  1-877-8-HAMBRE is ready for parents to call about SFSP feeding sites and other nutrition assistance programs in their communities.

All of these efforts and more will help reach more children and families this summer. Secretary Vilsack today said it best “It will take everyone – government agencies, educators, elected officials, corporations, advocates and community leaders – to ensure that our children have a healthy start in life – so they can win the future.”

Left to right on stage, School Board Vice Chairperson Abby Raphael, Arlington County School Superintendent Patrick K. Murphy, Federation of Virginia Food Banks Executive Director Leslie Van Horn, Barcroft Elementary School Principal Miriam Hughey-Guy, as two of the Super Sprowtz super-powerful vegetable super hero puppet characters, Brian Broccoli and Colby Carrot, encourage the students, parents and teachers of Barcroft Elementary School to get up and dance, during the launch of the Virginia No Kid Hungry Campaign at the Arlington, VA, school on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Left to right on stage, School Board Vice Chairperson Abby Raphael, Arlington County School Superintendent Patrick K. Murphy, Federation of Virginia Food Banks Executive Director Leslie Van Horn, Barcroft Elementary School Principal Miriam Hughey-Guy, as two of the Super Sprowtz super-powerful vegetable super hero puppet characters, Brian Broccoli and Colby Carrot, encourage the students, parents and teachers of Barcroft Elementary School to get up and dance, during the launch of the Virginia No Kid Hungry Campaign at the Arlington, VA, school on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Academy Award Winner and No Kid Hungry National Campaign Spokesperson Jeff Bridges, and other speakers at the Virginia No Kid Hungry Campaign launch, shake the hands of students at the Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, VA, on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. One of the speakers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “ We know our strength comes from out partnerships…” Campaign partners include Share our Strength, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, corporate partners, education leaders, government agencies and community organizations. The Virginia Summer Meals for Kids Program is funded by the USDA and provides free summer meals at hundreds of sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia, but according to a new report released today by the Food Research and Action Center, more than 80 percent of those eligible do not participate. Governor McDonnell (behind Bridges) announced and stressed that all parents who want free meals for their kids in need, can simply call 211 to find a summer meals site near them. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

Academy Award Winner and No Kid Hungry National Campaign Spokesperson Jeff Bridges, and other speakers at the Virginia No Kid Hungry Campaign launch, shake the hands of students at the Barcroft Elementary School in Arlington, VA, on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. One of the speakers, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “ We know our strength comes from out partnerships…” Campaign partners include Share our Strength, the Federation of Virginia Food Banks, corporate partners, education leaders, government agencies and community organizations. The Virginia Summer Meals for Kids Program is funded by the USDA and provides free summer meals at hundreds of sites across the Commonwealth of Virginia, but according to a new report released today by the Food Research and Action Center, more than 80 percent of those eligible do not participate. Governor McDonnell (behind Bridges) announced and stressed that all parents who want free meals for their kids in need, can simply call 211 to find a summer meals site near them. USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

One Response to “Secretary Vilsack Highlights Summer Food Service Program Week at No Kid Hungry Launch in Virginia”

  1. Kim Page says:

    I am interested in being a volunteer worker for this program during summer 2012 in Giles County. I am disabled but could contribute some time and energy. Like many people,time is ALL I have to give but I hope to help make a difference in the lives of local children. (540)922-5722

Leave a Reply