As a child, I always looked forward to the
carefree joy of summertime. I remember the
long days of playing outside at a nearby park
until I needed to
come home for
many of our
do not experience the simple joys of summer.
In fact, far too many are left worrying where
their next breakfast or lunch will come from
when schools are dismissed for summer break.
During the school year, about 31 million
American children receive school meals
through the National School Lunch Program
and School Breakfast Program every day.
About 21 million of those children receive
meals at a discounted rate or for free, based on
their family’s income. When summer comes,
though, only about 3.5 million of these children
participate in USDA’s summer meals programs.
That means millions of eligible low-income
children are at risk of going hungry during the
summer months. And we know that to thrive
and reach their highest potential, children
need good nutrition all year long.
USDA’s Summer Food Service Program
(SFSP) is working to fill this hunger gap for
children who qualify for free and reduced price
meals during the school year.
The program serves free healthy meals to
eligible children ages 18 and under, and is
made possible through the efforts of national,
state, and local partners, including a cadre of
While USDA has worked to increase access
to summer meals for low-income children for
many years, SFSP began receiving priority
attention in 2013.
Last summer, USDA employed a new tactic
of working with partners to deliver intensive,
targeted technical assistance on SFSP in five
states. The result was a historic increase in
the number of meals served, nationwide —7
million more than the previous year! We hope
to continue building on last year’s successes
with our state and local partners in 2014, and
move closer to closing the summer hunger gap.
The key to success this year will be expanding
the number of sites open for summer
meals. We must spread the word to schools,
parks and recreation departments, libraries,
and faith and other community organizations
across the nation; their participation is critical
for the continued success of SFSP. The deadlines
to become Summer Food Service Program
sponsors vary by State, and begin as
early as April 15.
Program sponsors oversee and provide
meals to summer sites. In return, USDA,
through the States, reimburses program sponsors
for the meals served to children.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise when I say
that galvanizing hundreds of faith-based
groups, civic groups, recreation centers, food
banks, schools, other non-profit organizations,
and volunteers takes time, effort and commitment
on all sides.
For any community that treasures its youth
(and I haven’t met one that doesn’t), we must
organize now to fight hunger this summer.
If you or your organization is interested in
helping us reduce the risk of hunger among
our nation’s youth, visit our website, www.summerfood.
The summer meals outreach toolkit includes
sample outreach plans, templates, customizable
flyers, door hangers, letters to parents,
examples of site activities, best practices, and
more. State representatives are also available
to answer questions and facilitate sponsor
enrollment and site registration. This year,
let’s work together to make sure every child in
our great nation has a hunger-free summer.
Kevin Concannon, U.S. Department of
Agriculture undersecretary for food,
nutrition and consumer services
As a child, I always looked forward to the
Please return valuable items taken from woman’s parked van
On July 8 at 2:33 p.m. my 16-year-old granddaughter Caitlyn Cook and I arrived at Children’s Medical Group for a 3 p.m. appointment.
File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.
Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals
We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.
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Remember, we’re not immune to extinction
I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.
If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”
America has three branches of government for good reasons
“Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.
Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets
Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.
Opposition and inclusion understood
Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.
Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?
Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop
As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).
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