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DHS Kicks Off 2013 Summer Food Service Program and Seeks Sponsors For Underserved Areas

Tuesday, February 05, 2013 | 06:54am

NASHVILLE‑‑The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) announces the availability of funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the 2013 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).  This program is intended to assure that children and individuals with disabilities, who rely on free and reduced price meals during the school year, have access to nutritious meals during the summer.  DHS needs partners, especially in underserved areas, to help meet these needs.  New sponsors and sites are invited to partner with this initiative.

Children age 18 and under are eligible to receive meals through the SFSP.  In addition, a person 19 years of age and older who has a mental or physical disability and  participates during the school year in a public or private non-profit school program, established for the disabled, is also eligible to receive meals.

Eligible sponsors include schools, private non-profit organizations, government entities, and non-profit residential camps.  Sponsors are reimbursed on a per meal basis for meals served to eligible children and may sponsor the SFSP at one or more sites. The criteria for the sponsorship are simple and straightforward, as outlined in the USDA Administrative Guidance for Sponsors Manual.  In 2012, a total of 66 sponsors served over 3 million meals to children at 1,740 sites across Tennessee.  Although this represents a 14% growth over 2011, it is estimated that only one out of every eight eligible child was reached by this program.

“We are looking forward to once again working with our federal and community partners in assisting low income families with ensuring children have access to nutritional meals during the summer months,” said Department of Human Services Commissioner, Raquel Hatter.

The deadline for new organizations to submit applications for sponsorship to the Tennessee Department of Human Services is at least 30 days prior to the anticipated starting date of their

program.  Sponsoring organizations must agree to serve meals to all children in attendance regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. 

If your organization is interested in sponsoring the SFSP in your community, or becoming a feeding site under an existing sponsor, please contact David Farmer or Doug Hutchison,  before March 15, 2013 at  (615) 313‑4749; or by e-mail at or

For more information on the Summer Food Service Program, please visit the following website: .

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice).  Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.



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