As summer approaches, the West Virginia Department of Education is looking to partner with organizations in an effort to provide meals and activities for children while schools are out of session.
The Summer Food Service Program relies on nonprofits, county boards of education and local government agencies to ensure children, especially in low-income areas, can continue to receive free meals they’d usually get at school while classes are out, according to a news release.
According to the WVDE, 208,000 West Virginia students depend on free and reduced school meals, but only 21,000 utilize SFSP. Feeding sites for the program include churches, schools, community centers, libraries and summer camps, among other places.
In 2018, there were 554 feeding sites set up throughout the state, according to the release.
“Supporting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer,” Steve Paine, state schools superintendent, said in the release. “Children require consistent, good-quality nutrition for development of their minds and bodies. We want to make certain every child returns to the classroom in the fall ready to learn.”
A list of approved sites for 2019 will be released in June. Organizations interested in participating in the program should contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves from the Office of Children Nutrition at 304-558-3396.