TEXAS COMMISSIONER ENCOURAGES ORGANIZATIONS TO APPLY FOR PARTICIPATION IN 2020 SUMMER NUTRITION PROG
AUSTIN — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today announced the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications for its 2020 summer nutrition programs. These programs connect eligible agencies and organizations with federal funds to provide healthy meals for Texas children who may not always have access to good nutrition when school cafeterias are closed for summer.
“Making sure Texas children have what they need to succeed in the classroom is a top priority at the TDA,” Commissioner Miller said. “And that starts with a nutritious meal all year long. Serving summer meals helps to strengthen Texas communities by giving kids an active, healthy summer. I encourage any eligible organization to join with TDA in this effort to ensure the last bell does not signal the start of hunger.”
Approximately 22 percent of Texas children are considered food insecure, meaning they do not have consistent access to the nutrition they need for an active, healthy life. In partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, TDA administers federally funded programs to help address childhood hunger during the summer. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides schools, nonprofit summer camps, governmental entities and other nonprofit organizations such as churches with the opportunity to serve meals to children across Texas. Schools have the option of participating in the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or SFSP, allowing them to continue meal service after the academic year ends.
Organizations join with TDA as contracting entities to serve meals at sites in designated areas, such as areas where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Meals will be provided to individuals age 18 and under without charge. Adults over the age of 18 are eligible for summer meals if they are determined by a state educational agency or local public educational agency of a state to have a mental or physical disability and who participate in a public or nonprofit private school program established for people with mental or physical disabilities.
All meal sites must be sponsored by an organization that has a contract with TDA. Approved SSO and SFSP sponsors, operating in accordance with federal and state regulations, will be reimbursed for meals served to children. All new sponsors are required to take training courses before participating in SFSP. Some applications may require additional review, and sponsors are encouraged to visit www.summerfood.org to determine if their organization falls into this category. The SFSP application deadline for new sponsors and those requiring more thorough review is April 15, 2020. All other returning SFSP sponsors must apply by May 1, 2020. The deadline for all SSO applications is May 31, 2020.
For more information about TDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs, visit www.summerfood.org.
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