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South Carolina Department of Education Seeking Partners for Summer Food Service Program

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Press Release

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) is offering local government agencies, school districts, faith-based and private nonprofit organizations an opportunity to provide summer meals to children by becoming a sponsor or a summer meal site for its United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program known as the Summer Break Café. This program is funded by the USDA and administered by the South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Health and Nutrition to serve healthy meals to children during the summer months when school is not in session.

“When students are on break from school during the summer, their nutrition will continue to be a priority,” said Virgie Chambers, Deputy Superintendent of District Operations, Safety, and Student Wellness with SCDE. “For the last two summers, due to the impact of COVID-19, there was a significant decrease in the number of non-school community sponsors and sites. Our goal for summer 2022 is to recruit new sponsors in rural counties and to encourage those sponsors who did not operate the previous two years to return.”

Approved sponsors can receive reimbursements for serving meals that meet the USDA guidelines to any student 18 years old and younger at approved sites. Sites can be located at schools, churches, recreation centers, hospitals, cafeterias, farmer’s markets, community and migrant centers, and other areas in the local community. USDA waivers and flexibilities allowed Summer Break Café sponsors to serve approximately 20.5 million meals from January through August 2021.

Sponsors receive training and support relating to the application process, setting up and operating a successful program, and nutrition education. They also receive technical assistance while the program is operating. Trainings and technical assistance sessions are currently being held in-person and virtually.

To learn more about becoming a Summer Break Café Sponsor or other ways to get involved with the program, visit the South Carolina Department of Education’s website. A virtual informational meeting will be held on January 26, 2022, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for those that are interested. Participants are asked to register by January 21, 2022. Questions regarding becoming a sponsor should be directed to summerbreakcafequestions@ed.sc.gov.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, employees and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs. Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.

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 responsible Agency USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or 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 discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint  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:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights

1400 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442 or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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