February 1, 2018

State seeking organizations to serve meals to children during summer months

Federally funded program helps fight childhood hunger

JEFFERSON CITY, MO - The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is looking for organizations throughout the state to help feed thousands of children who would otherwise go without meals during the summer months when school is not in session.

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses organizations for meals they serve to children who are at risk of not having enough to eat. The program is only one of the ways Missouri is working to fight childhood hunger.

"Preventing food insecurity in children is an important step in improving the health of Missourians," said Dr. Randall Williams, DHSS director. "Without the assistance of organizations across the state many of Missouri's children would go hungry during the summer months. Thank you to all organizations who have participated in the past, and thank you to any organization considering participating this summer. DHSS would be happy to answer any questions an organization may have as they consider participating in this program."

The summer food program provides nutritious meals to children under age 18 during the summer months when school breakfast and lunch programs are not operating.

Organizations eligible to participate in the program include schools, faith-based organizations, camps, private nonprofit agencies and local government entities. The sites are required to be located in areas where at least half of the children are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals.

The federally funded program is administered by DHSS. The department will accept applications March 1 through May 15 to participate in the program. Organizations interested in becoming sponsors are required to attend training. 

More information about the Summer Food Service Program is available online at www.health.mo.gov/sfsp , by telephone at 888-435-1464 (toll-free) or through RELAY MISSOURI for the Hearing and Speech Impaired by dialing 711 or 1-800-676-3777.  Potential sponsors may also write to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Summer Food Service Program, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

###