WVDEP Seeking Partnerships to Help Feed Children, Provide Activities During the Summer

The West Virginia Department of Education is seeking partnerships with organizations across the state to help feed children and provide supervised activities this summer.
When school is out of session during the summer months, community programs and organizations are vital to ensuring children in West Virginia are still receiving the nutrition they need, especially in low-income areas, a spokesman said.
County boards of education, local government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations can participate in the Summer Food Service Program which provides children ages 18 and younger in lower-income areas the opportunity to receive free, nutritious meals during the summer.
Feeding sites often include schools, churches, community centers, pools, parks, libraries, housing complexes and summer camps.
“Supporting summer feeding sites in your community is one of the most important things you can do to ensure no child goes hungry this summer,” said state Superintendent of Schools David L. Roach.
“Children require consistent, good-quality nutrition for the development of their minds and bodies. We want to make certain every child returns to the classroom in the fall ready to learn.”
About 75 percent, or 190,362, school-aged children qualify for free or reduced-priced meals in West Virginia.
It is vitally important to continue to offer meals in the summer months when children are at the highest risk for food insecurity, Roach said.
“In 2022, 595 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia, and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2023,” said Amanda Harrison, director of the Office of Child Nutrition.
“We encourage new organizations in communities all across the Mountain State to join us so the number of sites can grow and more children have access to healthy meals.”
Organizations interested in becoming 2023 summer sponsors can contact Cybele Boehm or Samantha Reeves with the Office of Child Nutrition at [email protected]%20][email protected]  or [email protected] or by calling 304.558.3396.
Summer sites will be announced in June.