WVDE seeks organization partners to feed children this summer

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities this summer.

When school is out of session 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.

County boards of education, local government agencies and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which ensures children (ages 18 and under) in lower-income areas continue to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer. This is a time of the year when they do not have access to the programs available during the school year, like the School Breakfast Program or National School Lunch Program.

“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,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch. “Children require consistent, high-quality nutrition year-round as their young bodies and minds continue to develop. We want to make certain every child returns to the classroom in the fall ready to learn.”

Participating organizations must be non-profit entities and may include schools; local, municipal or county governments; libraries; summer camps; youth sports programs; police and fire stations; or places of worship. Organizations approved to participate in this federal program are responsible for managing the sites that provide meals to children.

“In 2020, 785 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia, and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2021,” said WVDE Office of Child Nutrition Director Amanda Harrison. “We encourage new organizations in communities across the Mountain State to join us so the number of sites can grow and more children will have access to healthy meals.”

Organizations interested in becoming a 2021 summer sponsor should contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves with the Office of Child Nutrition at cboehm@k12.wv.us or snsnuffer@k12.wv.us or by calling (304) 558-3396. Summer sites will be announced in June 2021.