CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking partnerships to help feed children during the summer months.
A press release, WVDE said community programs and organizations are vital to ensure children receive the nutrition they need. WVDE said typical sponsors include schools, churches, community centers, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps.
WVDE encourages county boards of education, local government agencies and other nonprofit organizations to participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The summer feeding program will be provided for children ages 18 and under, who are facing food insecurity. The press release states that children will continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer while the School Breakfast or National School Lunch programs are not available.
Mason County Director of Food Service Beverly Glaze confirmed that the school district will be feeding students throughout the summer.
“We are currently working on a plan that will have five to six meal pick-up sites throughout the county,” Glaze said. “We will continue to offer the pre-packed meal boxes that will include five breakfasts and five lunches along with fresh or canned fruit, juice and a few snack items.”
Glaze said Mason County Schools’ summer feeding program will be funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program.
“We are grateful for those that have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic to help our schools feed children, but it is still vitally important that community partners and organizations participate in the Summer Food Service Program to ensure these supports continue through the summer months and that no child goes hungry,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch in the press release. “Now more than ever, providing consistent, quality nutrition throughout the summer helps children return to the classroom ready to learn and succeed.”
Organizations interested in becoming a 2020 summer sponsor should contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves with the Office of Child Nutrition at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or by calling 304-558-3396.
Summer feeding sites and additional information will be updated at https://wvde.us/child-nutrition/summer-food-service-program/sfsp-resources/.
Additionally, the Associated Press reported that the USDA approved an application submitted by the state departments of Education and Heath and Human Resources. The USDA will provide funding estimated at $72 million to be used for child nutrition needs during the coronavirus pandemic. These benefits will be for more than 231,000 children in the state who qualify for free or reduced price for school meals, said Gov. Jim Justice in a statement.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.