Janurary 30, 2013: State Superintendent Tom Torlakson today urged eligible organizations to apply now to become a meal site over the summer through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
In a press release from the state's department of education Torlakson said, "During summer... low-income children often miss out on the daily nutritious meals and the intellectual stimulation they get at school and...end up lagging behind their peers when school starts..." said Torlakson. "... it’s important for places...like camps and community centers, to sign up to become summer meal sites..."
Agencies interested in becoming SFSP sponsors must obtain training by California Department of Education (CDE) staff before their applications can be approved. Applications are due 45 days before beginning meal service and no later than June 15. These training sessions are usually available from late February through April. All commercial food service vendors are also invited to participate in the training sessions. The training will benefit food service vendors by providing information for meeting SFSP meal pattern and contract requirements. Agencies interested in becoming summer food sponsors may contact Melissa Garza at 800-952-5609, 916-322-5885, or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Dennis Arena at 800-952-5609, 916-324-9073, email@example.com. To receive training information, learn how to access the online application, or learn how to become a SFSP Sponsor or SFSP food vendor, visit CDE’sSummer Food Service Program Information - Summer Food Service Web page.
Programs like SFSP help decrease the phenomenon called summer learning loss -- when children return to school in the fall academically trailing their peers and contributing to a persistent achievement gap.