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Tennessee Cooking Up a Healthier Summer for Rural Children

Thursday, January 23, 2020 | 09:17am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is seeking rural communities as it opens the application process for organizations to participate in this year’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).

The goal of the SFSP is to ensure that children 18 and younger who benefit from meal programs during the school year continue to have that same access to nutritious meals during the summer.  The application process seeks out organizations, governmental entities, schools, religious entities, and non-profit residential camps who are interested in sponsoring the program and serving free meals to children in their communities.

This need is especially important in rural counties in Tennessee and those designated as distressed. Last year Cheatham, Giles, Moore, Stewart, and Wayne Counties did not have sponsors to serve children with the program. TDHS is hoping to change that this year by recruiting sponsors willing to serve those counties and additional sponsors for every county in the state.

“The partnerships we have with our Summer Food Service Program sponsors are helping us build strong families,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.  “The needs of our communities differ greatly from each other and that’s why it’s so essential to have sponsors working with us in all communities across the entire state. We build a thriving Tennessee by helping all children have access to nutritious meals during the summer months.”

In addition to children of school age, adults 19 and older with a mental or physical disability are eligible to receive free meals if they participate in a school program established for individuals with disabilities during the prior school year.

Organizations interested in becoming sponsors can learn more at the Summer Food Service Program Summer Summit:

·         January 23 from 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM CST.
·         Tennessee State Guard Building.
·         3401 Sidco Drive, Nashville.
·         https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2019-summer-summit-tickets-53867377777

Applications will be accepted until May 1, 2020.   If your organization is interested in becoming an SFSP sponsor or becoming a feeding site under an existing sponsor, please contact the TDHS by e-mail at TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov.

For more information on the Summer Food Service Program, please visit: http://tn.gov/humanservices/topic/learn-about-the-summer-food-service-program

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 http://www.aser.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, 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. 20250-7410;

(2)     Fax: (202)690-7442; or

(3)     Email: program.intake@usda.gov.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at www.tn.gov/humanservices.   

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CONTACT:  Sky Arnold
OFFICE:  615-313-5551