Last week Washington DC held a great kickoff event for the summer food service program (SFSP) and I was happy to join in. SFSP is a critical program that keeps kids from going hungry during the summer months and the District is the best out of all the 50 states and territories at getting disadvantaged children enrolled. SFSP is particularly important in the capital because one in eight households face food insecurity and, as a result, may not always get enough food to eat during a day.
The speakers at the event drove this message home. The lineup included Food Nutrition and Consumer Services Under Secretary Kevin Concannon, DC Mayor Vincent Gray and former Washington Redskins player Brian Mitchell. Mayor Gray pointed out that DC served 1 million meals last summer and planned to serve even more this time around to further reduce the amount of children who don’t get enough to eat with school is out. Mitchell talked about how important good nutrition was to his career as an NFL player and even led the kids who attended in some exercises. Mitchell said that eating well kept him healthy and strong and that’s exactly what we want for our nation’s future leaders.
This event wouldn’t have been possible without the commitment of community leadership and also folks like Alexandria Ashbrook at DC Hunger Solutions an organization committed to ending hunger in the District. DC Hunger Solutions was founded by the Food Research and Action Center. Since 2002, they’ve worked to end hunger in the district through improved public policy and a strong relationship with the Food and Nutrition Service. They are one of our most important partners.
All summer long, FNS will be working to increase understanding of the summer food service program and the crucial role it plays in ensuring kids are well nourished when school meals are not available. Continue to check back here at the blog for more posts like this one on why Summer Food Rocks! For more information on the Summer Food Service Program visit our web site at http://www.fns.usda.gov/summer-food-service-program-sfsp