Josh Hurt loads packaged food as meals for students onto buses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Josh Hurt, Metcalfe County’s superintendent, loads packaged food as meals for students onto buses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo submitted

Many Kentucky families depend on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. When school is out for the summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Kentucky Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) help ensure children continue to receive nutritious meals to bridge the nutrition gap during these months.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) encourages schools and nonprofit organizations to sponsor the SFSP and provide free meals to Kentucky children and teens in low-income areas. Meal sites often are located in public areas, including schools, community centers, parks, family housing complexes and locations operated by faith-based organizations.

Historically, for every seven free or reduced-price lunches served during the school year, only one lunch is served in a summer month. Across the state there is a need for more summer meals for children and more sponsors to provide them.

Sponsoring organizations must be one of the following:

  • A public or nonprofit private school food authority (including school districts);
  • A public or nonprofit private residential summer camp;
  • A unit of a local, municipal, county or state government;
  • A public or nonprofit private college or university; or
  • Other private nonprofit organization.

Those interested in becoming a new sponsor or a SFSP site under the administration of an existing sponsor should visit KDE’s Summer Food Service Program webpage.

Training will be provided to new sponsors at no cost.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider. Visit the USDA website to view USDA’s nondiscrimination statement.