West Virginia Department of Education seeks organization partners for summer lunch program

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CHARLESTON, W.V. (WOWK) – The West Virginia Department of Education says it is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities during the summer months.

The WVDE says that when school is out during the summer months, community programs and organizations are vital to ensuring children in West Virginia are still receiving the nutrition they need, especially in low-income areas.

One of the programs organizations can participate in is the Summer Food Service Program. The program is designed to ensure children 18 and under in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer.

“With most schools out during the summer months, it is vitally important that community partners and organizations participate in the Summer Food Service Program to ensure no child goes hungry,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steve Paine. “Providing consistent, quality nutrition throughout the summer helps children return to the classroom ready to learn and succeed.”

The WVDE said that in West Virginia, 198,435 school children, about 76 percent, depend on free and reduced-price meals at school, yet only about 18,000 receive the free meals provided by the SFSP.  

“In 2019, 537 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2020,” said Amanda Harrison, Executive Director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “New organizations in communities all across the Mountain State are invited to join so that more children have access to healthy meals than ever before.”

Organizations interested in becoming a 2020 summer sponsor can contact the Office of Child Nutrition at (304)-558-3396. Summer SFSP sites will be announced in June.

For more information on the program, contact Special Assistant to the Superintendent Carla Warren at Carla.Warren@k12.wv.us, call the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Communications at 304-558-2699, or visit the WVDE Facebook and Twitter pages.

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