Summer Food Service Program Summit Will Prepare Sponsors for Meal Service

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New Sponsors Needed Across the State to Provide Meal Service during the Summer

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) will host the second Annual Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Summit, Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at the Loudermilk Conference Center in downtown Atlanta. The summit will provide information and resources to help potential new sponsors and experienced sponsors of the SFSP administer effective and efficient meal service during summer 2016.

“Providing healthy meals to children during the summer months is critical to the continued development and overall health and wellness of Georgia’s youngest citizens,” said Falita Flowers, DECAL’s Nutrition Services director. “The success of the Summer Food Service Program is directly affected by the organizations that partner with the state as sponsors to ensure children have access to nutritious meals throughout the summer.”

The SFSP, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is administered in Georgia by DECAL. Approved community-based organizations may apply to serve free and nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months. Over 900,000 of Georgia’s school-aged children are eligible for free or reduced lunch. Through the SFSP, thousands of these children have access to free meals to fill the gap when children are not in school and may not have access to well-balanced meals throughout the day.

“Sponsoring organizations ensure that children have access to healthy, well-balanced meals during the summer,” said Flowers. “were excited that the number of meals served in summer 2015 increased significantly, but we need more sponsoring organizations to expand access to summer meals for more children across the state next summer. The SFSP Summit is a great way to learn more about how your organization can get involved.”

Nine of Georgia’s 159 counties in 2015 had no meal service through the SFSP or the Department of Education’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO). For this reason, DECAL is targeting the following counties for 2016: Calhoun, Clinch, Glascock, Lanier, Oglethorpe, Schley, Seminole, Taliaferro, and Webster. More than 78 percent of the children in each of these counties quality for free and reduced rate meals. Many of these children do not have access to nutritious meals when they are not in school.

Institutions that wish to participate in the SFSP as a sponsoring organization must be a public or private non-profit school, university, college, camp, unit of local government, National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) or private nonprofit organizations considered tax exempt by the Internal Revenue Service [501(c)3]. Sponsors receive training and support relating to the application process; setting up and operating a successful SFSP; and nutrition education. They also receive technical assistance while the program is operating.

To learn more about the SFSP and the SFSP Summit, contact Shani Drake, Marketing & Outreach manager, at, or at 404-656-3221. For more information about becoming a SFSP sponsor, visit the DECAL website.

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.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at, 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.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

Fax: 202-690-7442


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Reg Griffin
DECAL Communications Director

Bill Valladares
GaFCP Communications Director

Follow us on Twitter: @gafcpnews

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program, federal nutrition programs, and manages the voluntary quality enhancement programs. The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education.