MADISON — When school’s out for the summer, programs and organizations across the state still provide free, nutritious meals for economically disadvantaged children through the Summer Food Service Program.
Last year, Wisconsin’s 208 Summer Food Service Program sponsors provided nearly 2.8 million free meals to children from low‑income families during the summer months. The number of sponsors and meals served in Wisconsin has increased 32 percent in the last five years. Sponsors operated 872 sites statewide in 2015, up more than 80 sites from the prior year.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is seeking sponsors for the 2016 Summer Food Service Program. Sponsors may be:
- public or private nonprofit schools;
- public or private nonprofit residential camps;
- local, municipal, county, tribal, or state governments;
- public or private nonprofit colleges or universities;
- Upward Bound programs;
- libraries; or
- private nonprofit organizations.
“Through its year-to-year growth, the Summer Food Service Program demonstrates its increasing importance in communities across Wisconsin,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “I commend our public and private schools and nonprofit organizations for increasing their sponsorship and the number of nutrition sites to serve the many families who need food assistance during the summer.”
The most common sponsor for the Summer Food Service Program has been local school districts which combine a meal program with their summer school sessions. Through partnerships and creative collaboration, some districts have been able to work with other organizations to extend the Summer Food Service Program beyond summer school to meet the needs of more children.
All sponsors for the 2016 program year must complete the online Summer Food Service Program application at www.wisummerfood.org. New sponsors for the program will be required to attend a training session on March 31 in Madison. Continuing sponsors for the 2016 summer program are encouraged to attend one of the training sessions to be offered around the state. Those sessions will be held on March 11 in Madison and March 15 in Rice Lake. The deadline to register for training is Feb. 26 and must be done online at www.wisummerfood.org.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter 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 USDA by U.S. mail, fax or e-mail to:
The DPI has administered the Summer Food Service Program since its inception in 1975 and is an equal opportunity provider. Additional information about the program is available from Amy Kolano, (608) 266-7124, the DPI website at www.wisummerfood.org, or the USDA at http://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-food-service-program-sfsp.