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Summer Food Program Provider Application Open Feb. 20-April 28Date: 01/05/2017
January 5, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brandi Hinkle, DHS Deputy Chief of Communications
Arkansas Department of Human Services
501-683-5286 or email@example.com
Summer Food Program provider registration begins Feb. 20
The 2017 Arkansas Summer Food Service Program (ASFSP) application opens Feb. 20 for schools and government agencies and March 20 for other potential provider sites. The Department of Human Services (DHS) program provides healthy snacks and meals to children, ensuring children who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year have nutritious weekday meals when school is out.
“Unfortunately, we are tied with Mississippi as the most food insecure state in the nation, with one in five Arkansans suffering from not enough to eat in the last year,” said Tracey Shine, DHS Health and Nutrition program administrator. “We are down to ninth for child hunger, but that’s not good enough. Less than 15 percent of kids who qualify for free or reduced lunches during the school year are getting the same high-quality meals in the summer. ”
Last year, three million meals and snacks were provided to children in Arkansas at nearly 700 sites across the state. Youth ages 18 and younger, regardless of age, color, sex, race national origin or disability, and people over 18 who are deemed either mentally or physically handicapped are eligible for assistance. The program is federally-funded at 100 percent by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and therefore all meals and snacks must meet USDA nutritional guidelines.
Typically schools and daycares are summer food program providers, but any public or non-profit summer camps, community centers, churches, government agencies or similar groups can apply. Providers will be asked to supervise the production, distribution and administrative tasks of their site.
Potential ASFSP sponsors must complete an eligibility process that includes training and approval by DHS, USDA, and the Internal Revenue Service. Organizations that qualify for the program will be reimbursed the costs for meals and snacks served.
The application deadline is Friday, April 28. For more details about the program call 501-628-8869 or visit https://dhs.arkansas.gov/dccece/snp/SummerInfoM.aspx to complete the application.
To find sites across the state to assist children and adults in need of free food, Arkansans should visit www.whyhunger.org or call 1-800-5HUNGRY or text their ZIP code to 1-800-548-6479.