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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2014
For More Information Contact:

Jonathan Burman or Jeanne Beattie

(518) 474-1201

www.nysed.gov

NYSED Seal

State Education Department Announces 2014 Summer Food Service Program

Urges Schools, Government Agencies, Non-Profit Groups
Indian Tribal Territories, Migrant Programs and Camps to Apply

The New York State Education Department (SED) is accepting applications for the 2014 Summer Food Service Program from public or non-public schools, non-profit school food authorities; all local, county, municipal, or state governmental entities; Indian tribal territories, migrant programs; non-profit agencies; and camps interested and eligible in sponsoring a Summer Food Service Program.

The Summer Food Service Program was established to ensure that low-income children, 18 and younger, continue to receive nutritious meals when schools are not in session. The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service administers the Summer Food Service Program at the national level and the SED administers it at the state level.

In recent years, there have been significant changes to the Summer Food Service Program to allow greater flexibility in the use of program funds and lessen the administrative burden for sponsors. The focus of this program is to serve more eligible children by encouraging new organizations to participate and by expanding existing programs to maximize capacity in providing adequate access to all eligible children in their communities.

About 400,000 free meals are served daily to New York State children through the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, which will operate this summer throughout New York State from June 16 through September 1, 2014.

In order to serve the eligible children in their communities, sponsors must verify that the site where they plan to serve meals is located in an area where at least half the resident children are from households with incomes at or below the eligibility level for free or reduced price school meals. In most instances, current year school data provides the most accurate economic status of a particular community. Potential and existing sponsors can request data from the schools or from SED to determine eligible program sites.

Summer Food Service Program sponsors receive federal and State reimbursement for each meal served to a child, according to predetermined reimbursement rates. SED will hold training workshops in March and April for sponsors planning to participate in summer 2014.

All sponsors must agree to serve meals to any eligible child in accordance with Federal Law and USDA policy. The USDA prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department.  (Not all prohibited basis will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.) 

To file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request a form. Send the completed complaint form or letter by mail to U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email  program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing 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

Potential new sponsors may obtain a paper application and additional information by contacting the New York State Education Department, Child Nutrition Program Administration, 89 Washington Avenue, Third Floor EBA, Albany, NY 12234, (518) 486-1086.