USDA Awards Delaware Grant to Improve Nutrition Assistance to Low-Income Children During Summer Months
Delaware has won a USDA grant to help feed low-income children during the summer months. The grant will be used to test innovative alternatives to enable children from low-income households to access healthy food during the summer and will boost participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides meals to children from low-income households during summer months.
"Our students’ needs are year-round, and many of them rely on school meals to ease their hunger during the academic year," Former Secretary of Education Lillian Lowery said. "With this grant, those children also will have better access to healthy meals during their summer breaks."
Delaware, which will partner with the Food Bank of Delaware on the project, won the largest grant ($404,216). New York and Massachusetts were the other recipients of funds to implement the Home Delivery demonstration project. Also, 16 sponsors in Arizona, Ohio and Kansas were selected to implement the Food Backpacks demonstration project.
"The awarding of this proposal enables the Food Bank of Delaware in partnership with the Department of Education to feed more children during the summer months," said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. "It is important to remember that a child’s academic functions and personal behavior are inextricably linked to proper nutrition. Furthermore, this grant represents the power of successful collaborations and partnerships, commitment and innovations all necessary for feeding our future."
The Home Delivery demonstration project will provide funding to develop ways to deliver summer meals to eligible children in rural areas at a sustainable cost. Each recipient will use the money for its own program. In Delaware, under the Food Bank of Delaware's Home Delivery Food Distribution Pilot Program, the food bank will partner with rural, low-income apartment and housing complexes to be distribution sites for off-site meal consumption, rather than the traditional SFSP on-site meal consumption method.
"Hunger doesn't end when the school bell rings and gap periods, like the summer months, often present nutritional challenges to children from low-income households," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "USDA's Summer Food Service Program, with support from vital partners in our communities, ensures that healthy foods are available throughout the year to help youth reach their full potential and win the future."
The following organizations were selected to operate similar home delivery demonstration projects:
Home Delivery Demonstrations
Delaware Department of Education $404,216
- Food Bank of Delaware, Newark/Milford
- Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Elmira
- North Rose-Wolcott Central School District, Wolcott
- YMCA of Cape Cod, West Barnstable
The Food Backpack demonstration will supplement the traditional SFSP by providing food to children for use on days when meals are not available at SFSP sites, typically weekends. For example, Central Unified School District serving four rural communities in Kansas, provides lunches during the summer in Atlanta, Burden, Cambridge and Grenola Kansas. This summer, they will begin providing food backpacks at the sites on Thursdays to approximately 75 children per week. The backpacks will contain three days worth of shelf stable breakfast and lunch foods such as milk, juices, canned fruits and vegetables, tuna, and individual canned entrees. Preparation instructions and menu serving suggestions will also be provided. The following organizations were selected to operate similar food backpack demonstration projects:
Food Backpack Demonstrations
Arizona Department of Education $328,232
- Chandler Unified School District, Chandler
- Mesa Public Schools, Mesa
- Litchfield Elementary School District, Litchfield Park
Ohio Department of Education $329,725
- Andrews House, Inc., Delaware
- Community Action Organization of Scioto County, Portsmouth
- Hamilton Living Water Ministry, Inc.
- Whole Again International, Cincinnati
- Hocking Athens Perry Community Action Agency, Logan
- Ashtabula County Children Services, Ashtabula
Kansas State Department of Education $246,173
- Central Unified School District 462, Burden
- Lawrence Public Schools Unified School District 497, Lawrence
- Gardner Edgerton Unified School District, Gardner
- Arkansas City Unified School District 470, Arkansas City
- United Methodist Church, Wilson
- Topeka Public Schools, Topeka
- East Central Kansas Economic Opportunity Corp (ECKAN), Ottawa
Begun as a pilot program in 1968, today's Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months and long vacation periods for schools on year-round schedules. Program sponsors, which include schools, government agencies, residential and non-residential camps and faith-based organizations, served nearly 134 million meals at eligible sites in 2010.
Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. This legislation reauthorizes USDA'S child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative. To learn more, visit www.LetsMove.gov.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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