Hunger is a severe roadblock to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle of poor performance once school begins. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program that provides nutritious meals for hungry children during June, July and August.
Many libraries in Pennsylvania are participating in SFSP and I thank you so much for being a part of the program. If you are not involved yet, perhaps you can explore the benefits of adding the SFSP to your existing summer programs so children in your community can return to school in the fall ready to learn.
The libraries are wonderful sites for the program. Staff members at the libraries are trained to relate well with the children, the libraries are safe locations, and the children are treated well at these sites.
In addition, libraries are located in areas where there are children. Often, as I travel throughout the state, I will be in a remote area, or in the heart of a large city, and there will be a library. Libraries seem to be omnipresent, just what SFSP needs!
We have libraries in Pennsylvania that are experiencing great success in SFSP, however, the United States Department of Agriculture recently sent the enclosed story about a library in Ohio. I thought you might enjoy seeing that libraries in other states are also embracing the SFSP.
More information about SFSP as well as directions on becoming a sponsor is located on our website at www.education.state.pa.us/SFSP. If you would rather be a meal site instead of a sponsor, existing sponsors are listed on our website, by county. You are invited to contact them and offer them a place to serve meals.
Please contact me at 771.783.6501 or firstname.lastname@example.org if I can assist in any way.
Summer Food Service Program
Division of Food and Nutrition