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January 28, 2016

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Funding Available for Organizations Serving Summer Meals to Virginia Children

Deadline to apply for this year’s Summer Food Service Program is April 15th for sponsors requesting a June advance; May 13th for sponsors requesting a July advance; June 15th for sponsors requesting an August advance; and 30 days prior to operation for all sponsors. Applications cannot be accepted after June 15, 2016.

(Richmond, Va.) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is requesting assistance from financially viable organizations that can serve meals to children during the summer months. Organizations that participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) will be reimbursed by VDH for the meals that are served. Participating sponsors will also be reimbursed for certain allowable administrative costs associated with serving the meals. In addition, all participating organizations receive technical assistance from VDH staff. All participating sponsors are required to attend the SFSP training provided by VDH. Training dates will be publicized on VDH’s SFSP website when finalized.

Virginia’s children need and deserve nutritious meals continuously throughout the year to maintain healthy minds and bodies. Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to an individual’s learning process. Lack of access to nutritional meals during the summer sets the stage for a student’s poor performance once the next school year begins. Remember, childhood hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation. The SFSP fills the nutrition gap when school’s out and children do not have access to the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs.

Virginia’s SFSP operates in schools, public housing centers, community centers, playgrounds, camps, parks and churches. Sponsors that may qualify for this program include: public or private nonprofit schools; local, municipal, county, state or Federal governments; public or private nonprofit residential summer camps; and private nonprofit organizations including faith- or community-based organizations.

This year SFSP will be transitioning from a paper application to web- or computer-based applications.In preparation for this transition, VDH will be conducting mandatory regional trainings for all returning sponsors as well as prospective sponsors.The new application system, Child/Adult Application & Meal Payment System or CHAAMPS, will be launched with the 2016-2017 application cycle.

Sites and dates for the CHAMPS training are:

  • Western Region: March 7th or 8th
  • Eastern Region: March 14th or 15th
  • Central Region: March 16th or 17th
  • Northern Region: March 22nd or 23rd

Organizations interested in obtaining more information about the Summer Food Service Program or in requesting an application to participate, should call VDH at 1-804-864-7800 or visit the SFSP website. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also is offering a series of free webinars for organizations and individuals interested in participating in the SFSP.

If becoming a sponsor is not a good fit, but an organization is interested in feeding children in a specific area during the summer months, please consider partnering with an existing sponsor and participating as a meal site under that sponsor. In that case, please call the toll-free number above and ask for a list of existing sponsors in your area that may be able to add your organization as a meal location.

The deadline for submitting an application to participate in this year’s Summer Food Service Program is April 15th for sponsors requesting a June advance; May 13th for sponsors requesting a July advance; June 15th for sponsors requesting an August advance; 30 days prior to operation for all sponsors. Applications cannot be accepted after June 15, 2016.

Funding for the Summer Food Service Program is provided by the USDA and administered by VDH. The program provides nutritious meals in economically disadvantaged areas to children age 18 and younger and to students over the age of 18 who are mentally or physically disabled that participate in a vocational program. The SFSP is an equal opportunity program serving meals at no charge to all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex or disability.

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In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (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, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, 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 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:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Last Updated: 01-28-2016

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