MEDIA RELEASE: Faculty Diet Applications to Feed Youngsters Past Faculty 12 months with Summer time Meals Service Program
AUGUSTA – With support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine public schools have long provided nutritious breakfast and lunch programs to thousands of Maine children during the school year. Many flexibilities were introduced during the pandemic to ensure children had access to complementary meals while studying remotely from home or attending school in person.
We applaud those who worked tirelessly to provide food for the children during a difficult school year. With summer just around the corner, this vital service continues in many areas of Maine. The Summer Food Service Program, a US Department of Agriculture program, operates in hundreds of locations across Maine to ensure children are getting the food they need.
“Maine’s National School Lunch Programs are an invaluable lifeline for our students, for whom schools are a much-needed and constant source of food,” said Pender Makin, commissioner for the Maine Department of Education. “The Summer Food Service Program is helping schools continue to provide this vital resource to Maine students during the summer months, and we are committed to helping schools and communities meet the needs of the whole child.”
The Summer Food Service program may be offered nationwide in areas or locations where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or discounted meals under the National School Lunch Program, or where census data supports the need. This summer, due to area eligibility exemptions, sites enabled operations in areas required by the public health emergency due to the COVID-19 emergency. Eligible sponsorship organizations include schools, summer nonprofits, government agencies, and tax-exempt organizations, including religious organizations.
In July 2020, 112 sponsors participated in the program and served meals in 730 locations across the state. Sponsors operate open locations in all 16 Maine counties; everyone under 18 is allowed to come to eat for free. Many sponsors will take advantage of the USDA’s flexibility in allowing meals to be taken off-site to encourage physical distance, and offering innovative delivery and service models to safely meet demand.
To find nearby Summer Meals Sites, please visit the USDA Summer Meal Site Finder website at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/meals4kids, text “Summer Meals” to 97779 or call Maine 211.
Updated information will be available by the end of June.
For more information on the DOE’s Summer Food Service Program of Maine contact [email protected], call 592-1722, or visit https://www.maine.gov/doe/schools/ nutrition / programs / sfsp.
In accordance with Federal Citizenship Act and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) civil rights rules and guidelines, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs, are prohibited from doing anything because of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, age, or retaliation or retaliation for previous civil rights activity in a program or activity conducted or funded by the USDA.
People with disabilities who need alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. braille, large print, tape, American sign language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) from which they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired can contact the USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Program information can also be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (AD-3027), which can be found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and in any USDA Office or write a letter to USDA, including all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to the USDA by:
(1) Post: US Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20250-9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: [email protected].
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
The Maine Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, religion, race, or national origin.
Complaints about discrimination must be submitted to the Maine Human Rights Commission office, 51 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333-0051. To file a discrimination complaint electronically, visit the Human Rights Commission website at https://www.maine.gov/mhrc/file/instructions and complete an admissions questionnaire. Maine is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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