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USDA Launches Contest to Celebrate Success in the Summer Food Service Program

Release No.
0309.11

Contact:
FNS Public Affairs (703) 305-2281

WASHINGTON, July 20, 2011 – USDA's Food and Nutrition Service today launched a photo contest to look for and promote best practices in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The competition, Food, Fun and Sun! The Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest, is open to sponsors and sites participating in the SFSP, which provides free, healthy meals to children in low-income areas during the summer.

"We must do all we can to ensure that children get nutritious food during the summer so they are ready to learn and succeed during the school year," said Kevin Concannon, USDA Undersecretary for Food Nutrition and Consumer Services. "This contest helps highlight the critical role of summer meals and summer feeding programs in ending childhood hunger and providing our children the nutrition needed to be healthy, active and ready to win the future."

Food, Fun and Sun! will highlight successful programs in four categories to share with SFSP sponsors and sites across the country. Contest winners will be recognized nationally.

Photo contest categories include:

  • Volunteers: Examples of programs that use volunteers to support their work.
  • Older Children: Examples of successful programs that address hunger among older kids, aged 12-18.
  • Rural: Examples of successful programs in rural areas.
  • Creative: Examples of the best creative programs that "think outside the box" to serve kids and teens.

For more details about the Food, Fun and Sun! The Summer Food Service Program Story and Photo Contest including submission guidelines and contest rules, please visit the competition webpage at http://challenge.gov/USDA/195-food-fun-and-sun-story-and-photo-challenge.

The SFSP, a federally funded program designed to alleviate hunger during the summer for children 18 years old and younger, operates through partnerships between USDA, state agencies and local organizations. Program sponsors, which include schools, government agencies, residential and non-residential camps and faith-based organizations, served nearly 134 million meals at eligible sites in 2010.

During the regular school year, about 21 million children from low-income households receive free or reduced-price meals through USDA's School Breakfast and National School Lunch programs, compared to about 3 million fed through summer programs. Hunger doesn't take a summer vacation – but communities across the Nation are working hard to make sure every child has the food they need, even when school is not in session.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger.