The Louisiana Department of Education has recently announced that they have begun accepting applications from eligible agencies and organizations wanting to contribute to the 2022 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), as per their news release.
The announcement comes from the Louisiana Department of Education’s Division of Nutrition Support wherein they are seeking sponsors and program sites for their providing healthy meals to school children in the summer months. As a whole, the SFSP provides food for students from disadvantaged backgrounds at a time of year when school is not in session.
Applications are being accepted for those who wish to participate in the 2022 Summer Food Service Program until April 15, 2022. Once accepted and approved, sponsors would receive financial assistance to help with the cost of obtaining, preparing, and serving food under the program. While the financial assistance would include administrative costs, Sponsors would be responsible for providing a capable staff and be able to exhibit managerial skills and food service capabilities. Any approved sponsors would be allowed to purchase meals through an agreement with an area school or through a contract for meals with a food vendor.
The LDOE provided examples of local organizations that have often returned to serve as SFSP sponsors. The examples included public or private non-profit schools; local, municipal, parish, tribal, or state governments; private and non-profit organizations; public or private non-profit camps; and private or non-profit universities or colleges.
In addition to needing sponsors, the Louisiana Department of Education has also announced that they are in need of agencies or organizations willing to serve as physical locations for food to be served. These program site locations would need to work with an approved program sponsor that would be financially and administratively responsible for meeting all of the program’s requirements for the applicable meal service types located at the site.
All prospective new or returning sponsors for the 2022 SFSP would need to complete the ‘22 SFSP Training Sessionsthat are provided by the Louisiana Department of Education. Training sessions for the 2022 season will not be held in person as in the past, but they will instead be conducted and hosted through an online platform with the associated slide decks containing training information archived online. Registration for the sessions can be found at the LA Fit Kids Website, and the slide deck archive will also be stored on that site following the conclusion of the training sessions.
The SFSP is a federally-funded program that’s administered on behalf of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the services provided by the state’s education department. The Summer Food Service Program is traditionally held in economically disadvantaged areas, neighborhoods, or communities in which half of the school children are eligible to receive meals during the school year that are either free or reduced-price. Eligibility for participation in the SFSP can also be determined by census information via the use of site-level Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) information or by the use of individual eligibility of children.
Additionally, the SFSP will provide meals to any children aged 18 or younger as well as anyone over the age of 18 who is determined by a state or local agency to be mentally or physically disabled. These individuals would also have to participate in a public or private non-profit school program established for the mentally or physically disabled during the school year.
Prospective applicants or program sites seeking more information or answers to specific questions have been encouraged by the LDOE to contact the Department’s Division of Nutrition Support Staff.
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