USDA PROGRAM ACCEPTING SUMMER NUTRITION PROGRAM APPLICATIONS FROM NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS, GOVERNMENT ENTITIES
AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications from organizations for participation in Summer Nutrition Programs, which help feed children who do not have access to nutritious meals when schools close for summer. These programs are vital at a time when more than 18 percent of Texas households are considered food insecure; meaning not everyone in the household has consistent access to good nutrition.
Two programs federally funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture aimed at addressing childhood hunger in Texas are administered by TDA. The Seamless Summer Option (SSO) is operated by schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program while the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) allows government entities and non-profit organizations to serve as meal sites during the summer. Organizations partner with TDA to serve meals at sites across the state in areas where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, faith-based groups, nonprofit summer camps, government agencies and other tax-exempt organizations. All meal sites must be sponsored by an organization that has a contract with TDA.
TDA encourages any eligible organization to consider providing this much-needed service to Texas children. Approved sponsors, operating in accordance with federal and state regulations, will be reimbursed for meals served to children. All new and renewing sponsors are required to take training courses before participating in these programs. The deadline for a new sponsor to apply for participation in the Summer Nutrition Programs is April 15, 2014.