Iowans needed to help combat student hunger in the summer
Iowa Department of Education seeks sponsors for summer meal programs
An estimated 91 percent of students who receive meal assistance during the school year go hungry during the summer months. That’s because there are not enough summer food programs statewide to meet the needs of the 195,712 students who qualify during the school year for free or reduced-price lunches.
To that end, the Iowa Department of Education is seeking sponsors statewide to help run a program that provides healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income neighborhoods through the summer.
The Summer Food Service Program, administered by the Iowa Department of Education, helps reduce the risk of hunger during the summer months.
Though there are many summer programs in Iowa, their reach is not far enough to meet needs statewide. The summer meals program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Funds are available to sponsors to offset the cost, which is based on a per-meal reimbursement. Reimbursement funds can be used for both operational and administrative expenses.
Sponsoring a program means acting as the manager for the sites. Sponsors must be able to provide a capable staff, supervision of meal sites and meal services either via meals prepared on site or vended from another organization.
Typical sponsors include public or private nonprofit schools; local, municipal, county, tribal or state government; private nonprofits; public or private nonprofit camps; and private or nonprofit universities or colleges.