Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is looking for eligible organizations to sponsor the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in their communities in 2017. The SFSP, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), provides access to healthy meals to children during the summer months when school is not in session. DECAL administers the SFSP in Georgia.
The SFSP reimburses non-profit and government organizations for providing free meals to eligible children in low-income areas during the summer months. The following entities can qualify as sponsors: public or private nonprofit schools; universities, colleges or camps; units of local government; private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations considered tax exempt by the IRS. Sponsors can operate the program and feed children at various sites such as schools, churches, recreation centers, community and migrant centers, and other areas where children congregate. Mobile meal sites are also an option for sponsors – particularly in rural areas of the state.
“Access to healthy meals and snacks during the summer when school is out is critical to the continued well-being and growth of Georgia’s children,” said DECAL’s Nutrition Services Director, Falita Flowers. “Without the institutions that serve as sponsoring organizations for the SFSP, children may not receive nutritious meals during the summer. The SFSP and those organizations that partner with us are integral to abating childhood hunger when school is not in session.”
Sponsors receive training and support relating to the application process; setting up and operating a successful SFSP; and nutrition education. They also receive technical assistance while the program is operating.