Do you know about the resources USDA has to help feed hungry children over the summer? The USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships hosted a webinar as part of their Together We Can Partnership Series about the Summer Food Service Program to help connect individuals and organizations to the program.
Explained in the simplest terms, the Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded, state administered program that provides free nutritious meals to children in low-income areas. The program helps ensure children receive the nutritious food that they need during the summer. Many children from low-income families rely on school meals during the school year and no longer have access to those meals in the summer. The program operates when school is not in session, typically from the end of the school year in late May or early June until school resumes, usually late August or early September. Read more »
Today marks the 2nd annual National Summer Food Service Program Kick Off Week (June 11-15). During the school year, more than 21 million children receive free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs. But when school is out, many low-income kids relying on these school meals, go hungry. To close that gap, USDA’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps children get the nutritious meals they need during the summer months so they’re ready to learn when they return to school in the fall.
A teen attending the summer food service site at the Boys and Girls Club of Ada County in Garden City, Idaho enjoys a healthy snack.
This week, we’ll be sharing SFSP information through Twitter, blogs, and a variety of National Summer Food Service Program kick-off events throughout the country. Our children’s continued ability to learn, grow up healthy, and reach their full potential will depend on what we do now to secure their future. Read more »
Hunger is an issue that touches the lives of people all around us. Whether it’s the single mother struggling to feed her family of four while simultaneously making ends meet or a person living in rural America who has to drive 50 miles to the closest grocery store, hunger affects us all.
That is why I am calling upon all community leaders who have committed themselves to ending this struggle to apply to the “White House Champions of Change: Alleviating Hunger at Home and Abroad” program. The purpose of this program is to recognize individuals who are using innovative community-based approaches to reduce hunger and ensure that people have access to enough food both in the United States and internationally. Read more »
Benjamin Taylor of Taylor’s Produce in Preston, Maryland loads a bin of sweet corn destined for the Maryland Food Bank. Taylor’s produce donated nearly seven thousand pounds of freshly picked produce to the Food Bank including sweet corn, squash and cucumbers.
Recently I had a great opportunity to attend a meeting of Maryland’s Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. Led by Governor Martin O’Malley’s Office for Children, the Partnership “table” brings together state agencies, USDA, local non-profit organizations such as food banks, advocacy groups, and the private sector. Since November of 2008, the Partnership has focused its efforts on connecting individuals to federal nutrition programs and bridging the gap between eligibility and participation. Read more »
Some of the most passionate advocates for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service are our partners across the country. I realized that when I sat down yesterday with our hunger fighting partners in rural Greeley, Colorado. The town sits in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains in Weld County, among some of the richest, most productive farmland in the west. It’s a massive 4,000 square mile county where cattle, grain and sugar beets are king.
Yet in the midst of the beauty and bounty, I was struck by the fact that 25,000 people here are in need. So United Way of Weld County brought together more than two dozen local agencies that all have a common goal: to strengthen their community by reducing hunger and promoting health. Read more »
Like millions of Americans, I will join family and friends this holiday season to share meals, conversation and to count our blessings. We’ll take a moment to thank the men and women in uniform serving our country overseas – and also those who produced the food on our tables.
During this time of celebration and good cheer, we should also look out for those less fortunate than we are. This year at USDA, we provided critical nutrition assistance to one in four Americans during a time of record need. But our work only goes so far. That is why I want to encourage Americans to help fight hunger and poverty and to support those struggling to feed themselves and their families. Read more »