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South Carolina Department of Education seeking partners for Summer Food Service Program

The South Carolina Department of Education’s Office of Health and Nutrition (OHN) 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 Summer Meals Program.

This program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the South Carolina Department of Education to serve healthy meals to children during the summer months when school is not in session.

“When students are on break from school this summer, their nutrition will continue to be a priority,” said Ron Jones, director of OHN. “Last summer, due to the impact of COVID-19, there was a significant decrease in the number of non-school community sponsors and sites. Our goal this summer is to recruit new sponsors in needed areas and to encourage those sponsors who did not operate in summer 2020 to return.”

Approved sponsors can operate the program and serve free meals to any student 18 years old and younger at approved sites. Sites can be located at schools, churches, recreation centers, hospital cafeterias, farmer’s markets, community and migrant centers, and other areas in the local community.

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. All training and technical assistance sessions are currently being held virtually.

For more information on becoming a Summer Food Service Program sponsor, visit OHN’s web page. A virtual informational meeting will be held on February 25, 2021 for organizations that are interested in becoming a sponsor. Click here to register for the virtual meeting. Any questions can be emailed to