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Crucial program seeks sponsors to provide healthy meals to children this summer

Wednesday, January 29, 2020


DPI Media Line, (608) 266-3559
MADISON — Following a record-breaking year, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is once again seeking sponsors to provide meals to children living in economically disadvantaged areas in Wisconsin through its Summer Food Service Program.
During the summer of 2019, 254 local sponsors served nearly 3 million free meals at more than 1,000 locations across Wisconsin to children of low-income families during the summer break from school, all increases from the previous summer.
“The unfortunate reality is many families struggle to put food on the table for their children throughout the year, and that is especially true during the summer when school lunch programs are not running,” State Superintendent Carolyn Stanford Taylor said. “The Summer Food Service Program fills an essential gap and provides children nutritious meals throughout the summer. Those who sponsor the program are the reason for its success in Wisconsin.”
Sponsors can be public or private, nonprofit school food authorities or nonprofit summer camps, units of local, municipal, county, tribal, or state governments, private nonprofit organizations (special considerations and restrictions apply), and public or private colleges or universities currently participating in the National Youth Sports and Precollege Programs.
Local school districts combining meal programs with summer school sessions are among the most-common program sponsors. Through partnerships and creative collaboration, school districts work with area organizations to extend the SFSP beyond summer school programs to serve more children in need.
To apply to be a sponsor, individuals must complete the online SFSP application. All prospective sponsors must select at least one training opportunity listed on the DPI’s SFSP training page by no later than Feb. 14. Training options include pop-up sessions, an online course, or a group session. New sponsor training will be held on April 3 in Madison.
The DPI has submitted seven SFSP waivers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to benefit program operations for the entire state due to rescinded policy memos. The waivers provide flexibility to allow for efficient and cost effective program operations while also reducing administrative burdens to sponsor organizations and DPI staff.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and 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. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
For more information on to file a program complaint of discrimination, contact SFSP Coordinator Amy Kolano at