Iowans needed to help prevent child hunger in the summer
DES MOINES – In an effort to head off hunger, the Iowa Department of Education is seeking sponsors for a federally funded program that provides nutritious meals or snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months.
About 90 percent of the more than 200,000 Iowa students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches during the school year don’t have school-sponsored meal programs to turn to when classes let out for summer break. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which is administered through the Iowa Department of Education, is designed to fill that gap.
Typical sponsors include public and nonpublic schools, local government agencies, and private nonprofit organizations with serving sites located in schools, churches, community centers, parks, libraries, housing complexes, or camps.
To qualify as a site, the facility must be either located in a low-income neighborhood where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals or must serve primarily low-income children.
In 2016, Iowa Summer Food Service Program sponsors served 1,234,046 meals and snacks to children across the state, feeding approximately 23,000 children on a typical June day. The number of meals served represents a 5 percent increase over the previous summer, but still falls short of goals.
Organizations interested in learning how to be involved are invited to register to participate in a free informational webinar on Feb. 16 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
For more information, visit the Department’s Summer Food Service Program webpage or call 515-281-4760. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.