The Kansas Department of Education is seeking sponsors to serve free meals to children over the summer months.
The summer food program, paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the state, aims to ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session.
Last summer the program served a record 1.32 million meals – including at 41 Kid Power Cafe sites in the Wichita area – but fell short of meeting the needs of hungry kids, state officials said. While more than 350,000 lunches are served to children each day during the school year, only about 29,000 children statewide receive free meals each day through the summer food program.
The program reimburses schools, public agencies and private nonprofit groups for food services. Free meals often are paired with summer education or recreation programs.
The program is open to children 18 or younger. No proof of residency or income is required. Some sites offer meals throughout the length of the program; others offer them only on certain days or for only part of the summer.
Organizations interested in serving meals to children through a summer program should call Kelly Chanay at the Department of Education’s Child Nutrition and Wellness office, 785-296-2276, or visit www.kn-eat.org and click on the “Summer Food Service Program” tab.