07/08/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/08/2019 07:39
Harrisburg, PA - The Department of Education today announced the sites where children can get free nutritious meals through the 2019 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the program, which PDE administers. Last year, Pennsylvania children received more than 4.5 million meals from approximately 2,600 food program sites, with $13.5 million in USDA support.
'Food insecurity impacts students year-round, not just when they are in school,' said Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera. 'The Summer Food Service Program helps communities bridge the gap between school years to ensure students have continued access to nutritious meals over the summer, in turn helping prevent the summer slide, and preparing them to return to school healthy.'
Many students who receive free or reduced cost meals during the school year through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs lack access to healthy and nutritious food during the summer months and are at risk of hunger. Limited access to nutritious food during the summer can have an impact on learning all year long and can make students more susceptible to illness and other health issues.
There are several ways to locate a participating summer meal site:
· Call the '211' phone number for the National call center.
· Call '1.866.3Hungry' or '1.877.8Hambre' to find the place and time of free meals.
· Log onto https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocksOpens In A New Window for locations and times where free meals are to be served.
· Text 'FOOD' to '877877' to find out the nearest SFSP site near your location.
· Log onto http://www.rangeapp.org/Opens In A New Window that is an app used to locate places and times where free meals are served.
The Summer Food Service Program, which began in 1976, is a federally funded child nutrition program designed to reach those who are age 18 or younger in economically disadvantaged areas. People over 18 who are mentally or physically handicapped and participate in public or nonprofit private programs established for the disabled are also able to receive free meals at the Summer Food Service Program sites.
During his tenure, Governor Wolf has made combating hunger a priority. In 2015 he established the Food Security Partnership, a group comprised of the secretaries of the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services; unveiled the commonwealth's food security plan - Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA 2016; and introduced the Governor's School Breakfast Initiative 2017.
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:
A complaint may also be filed at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter 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) E-mail: [email protected].
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
For additional information on the Summer Food Service Program, visit PDE's website at www.education.pa.gov/sfspOpens In A New Window or call 800-331-0129.
MEDIA CONTACT: Rick Levis - 717-783-9802 or [email protected]
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