AUSTIN (January 29, 2015) — The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications from eligible organizations to participate in summer nutrition programs. Such programs help feed children who do not have access to nutritious meals when schools close for summer. Summer nutrition programs are vital, as 18 percent of Texas households are considered food insecure, which means not everyone in the household has consistent access to good nutrition.
“At the Texas Department of Agriculture, we are committed to ensuring Texas children have healthy meals during the summer,” Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said. “Children in our communities do not have to go hungry. It is essential for our agency to partner with local organizations to make certain the summer nutrition programs work, and I look forward to another year of great partnerships.”
TDA administers two programs federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that are aimed at addressing childhood hunger in Texas. The Seamless Summer Option allows schools to provide meals to eligible and in need children, while the Summer Food Service Program provides government entities and non-profit organizations with the opportunity to participate.
Organizations partner with TDA to serve meals at sites across the state in areas where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, faith-based groups, nonprofit summer camps, government agencies and other tax-exempt organizations. All meal sites must be sponsored by an organization that has a contract with TDA.
TDA encourages any eligible organization to consider providing this much-needed service to Texas children. Approved sponsors, operating in accordance with federal and state regulations, will be reimbursed for meals served to children. All new and returning sponsors are required to take training courses before participating in the Summer Food Service Program.The deadline for a new sponsor to apply for participation in the Summer Food Service Program is April 15, 2015.
For more information about TDA’s Summer Nutrition Programs, visit www.summerfood.org.