STUDENT SUMMER MEAL PROGRAM KICKS-OFF
Visit Highlights Access of Free Summer Meals for Low Income Students
For Immediate Release: June 30, 2014
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(WINSLOW TOWNSHIP) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today helped serve lunch to 150 students at Winslow Township School #6 as part of the Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.
School #6 is one of three summer nutrition sites sponsored by the Winslow Township School District. This is the third summer the District has participated in the Summer Food Service program, which helps ensure children who receive free or reduced price lunch during the school year continue getting healthy meals during the summer.
Secretary Fisher called attention to these programs in an effort to increase awareness of their availability in locations throughout New Jersey.
“With more than a thousand sites around the state, we encourage parents to take advantage of the Summer Food Service Program while school is out,” said Secretary Fisher. “The meals, which include breakfast, lunch or a snack, are free to students.”
The federally-funded program reimburses participating organizations for meals served to children who live in areas in which at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.
Jim Harmon from USDA, Cherrie Walker, NJDA's Director of the Summer Food Service Program and Secretary Fisher serve lunch at School #6
Most participating organizations may be reimbursed for up to two meals a day – lunch and either breakfast or a snack.
In 2013, more than 300 Winslow Township school students were served lunch on a daily basis as part of the Summer Food Service Program. Today’s menu for lunch consisted of a cheeseburger, French fries, pears and low-fat milk. The program will run through August 15.
“More than 50 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch,” said H. Major Poteat, Ed.D., Winslow Township Schools Superintendent. “It is vitally important that the Township and School District continue to work with the Department of Agriculture to maintain this much-needed program during the summer months.”
Statewide this year there are 1,000 sites serving more than 76,000 children daily. In the 2013-2014 school year, more than 422,000 New Jersey students children received free or reduced price meals in their schools under the National School Lunch Program. In 2013, only 22 percent of the children in the state participating in the National School Lunch Program had access to nutritious meals in the summer.
Started in 1976 as an outgrowth of the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program is designed to reach those who are age 18 or younger in low-income areas. It also is open to people over 18 who are mentally or physically handicapped and who participate in public or nonprofit private programs established for the disabled.
To learn more about the Summer Food Service Program or how to become a sponsor, visit http://bit.ly/V233JR. To find a feeding site near you, call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or text Food to 877-877.