If your organization operates a program where for children in the summer, you could become a summer meals site!
What does it mean to be a summer meals site?
While being a summer meals sponsor involves significant training and program management, community programs and organizations can sign on with a sponsor in their area to be a site to provide meals to children.
The federal Summer Food Service Program funds organizations to “sponsor” a summer meals program. These sponsors administer the program in a certain geographic area, which can be a municipality, school district or several different towns.
Smaller organizations that serve children during the summer should consider becoming a site to a sponsor in their area. Sites receive training and support from sponsors, but are not required to process as much paperwork or provide financial resources. Sites can be any place where children gather in the summer -- recreation centers, libraries, parks, pools, churches, community centers and camps.
Sites in communities with more than 50 percent of children eligible for free or low-cost school meals are qualified to participate. If you live in an area where many children live in struggling families, please consider becoming a site or a sponsor.
Consider becoming a site!
Without school meals, these children often face hunger during the summer. In addition to providing free, healthy meals, these programs also offer an opportunity for children 18 years and younger to play together, engage in enrichment activities, hone their academic skills and be better prepared when they return to school in September.
To effectively combat the summertime nutrition gap, communities need to work together to serve up meals to more children in high-poverty communities.
To learn more, please contact the New Jersey Department of Agriculture at 609-292-4498.