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For Immediate Release: Feb. 1, 2012
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Partners needed for program that feeds children

When school is in session, 58,974 South Dakota children receive free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program. During the summer, those kids are still in need of healthy meals. The South Dakota Department of Education is searching for sponsors to continue to prepare and serve meals throughout the summer months for families in areas that qualify.

"All too often, summer means a lot of children are going without nutritious meals because of tight budgets and working parents," said Sandra Kangas, director of South Dakota's Child and Adult Nutrition Services. "The Summer Food Service Program offers help to families by providing nutritious meals in a secure location at no cost to the family. Parents know their children can get a good meal without worrying about the children cooking."

The Summer Food Service Program aims to provide food service to youngsters when school is not in session. Children under the age of 18 can receive a meal free of charge at a participating site.

Organizations are needed to serve as Summer Food Service Program sponsors. Entities such as non-profit organizations, schools and local governments can apply to be approved sponsors if they operate in a low-income area, if they serve a group of mostly low-income children, or if they are a summer camp.

To become a participating or sponsoring site, call Child and Adult Nutrition Services at (605) 773-3413. For more information, visit Training for new sponsoring sites begins in March; registration is due Feb. 24.

The Summer Food Service Program is a federally funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the South Dakota Department of Education. This agency is an equal opportunity provider.