AUSTIN — Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller today announced the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications for its 2018 summer nutrition programs. These programs connect community organizations and schools with federal funds to provide healthy meals for the Texas children who may not always have access to good nutrition when school cafeterias are closed for summer.
“TDA and our partner organizations help ensure the end of school does not mean the start of hunger for some Texas children,” Commissioner Miller said. “Together, we work to strengthen communities across Texas by serving children the meals they need for an active, healthy summer. I encourage any eligible organization to join us in the effort to help promote good nutrition this summer so more Texas children can return to school in the fall ready to thrive.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 14 percent of Texas households are considered food insecure, meaning every member of the household does not have consistent access to good nutrition. In partnership with USDA, 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 partner with TDA 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, as well as adults over the age of 18 who 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 the 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, 2018. All other returning SFSP sponsors must apply by May 1, 2018. The deadline for all SSO applications is May 31, 2018.
For more information about TDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs, visit www.summerfood.org.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.