AUGUSTA — With the assistance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine public schools have long offered a nutritious breakfast and lunch meal program to thousands of income eligible children in Maine during the school year. To extend this program, the Child Nutrition team at the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) is seeking organizations who would like to participate in the federally funded Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides children healthy meals when school is not in session.
“It is imperative that we continue expanding this tremendous program to ensure that children have the benefit of free and healthy meals from the program all year long, no matter where they live in our state,” said Maine Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr.
In 2017, 120 sponsors participated in the program, serving meals at 438 sites throughout the state. Although the program continues to grow in Maine, there is still a long way to go towards feeding all eligible children during the summer. Community partners are working to maximize the number of sponsors utilizing the availability of funds under the SFSP.
The Summer Food Service Program may be offered statewide in areas or at sites where more than 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced meal benefits under the National School Lunch Program or census track data supports the need. Organizations that provide services in rural communities or near migrant farm workers and American Indian populations are urged to participate. Eligible sponsoring organizations include schools, nonprofit residential summer camps, government agencies, and tax-exempt organizations including faith-based organizations.
Maine DOE encourages any eligible organization to consider providing this much-needed service to Maine children. The agency will begin accepting applications to participate in February. Approved sponsors will be reimbursed for eligible meals served to children during the long summer break.
Interested organizations should begin planning now for a successful summer. Potential sponsors are required to attend training sessions. For a complete schedule of trainings, please visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/nutrition/resources/events.html. Maine DOE is available to attend meetings or consult by phone and email to answer questions regarding summer meals. For more information about the Maine DOE’s Summer Food Service Program, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, call 624-6726 or visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/nutrition/programs/sfsp/index.html.
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 ere they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, heard 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 discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint 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: email@example.com.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. This institution is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with State law this institution is prohibited from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs)
To file a complaint of discrimination, write Maine Human Rights Commission, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.