[Libs-Or] Libraries Making a Difference: Summer Food Options

Greta Bergquist greta.bergquist at state.or.us
Tue Feb 11 09:16:42 PST 2020

Hello Oregon libraries,

Did you know that this coming summer, there are 258, 205 Oregon kids eligible for free summer meals who do not have access to a summer meals site in their community? This is a LOT of hungry kiddos in our state! Please consider partnering with your school district, county, or other local org to offer meals, doing summer reading programs at a summer meal site, or becoming a site at your library! Here's a handy starter guide<https://www.cslpreads.org/libraries-and-summer-food/> if you aren't sure what your library can do. Something is better than nothing, even if it's small.

Many libraries around the country already participate in Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a USDA-funded program that provides free meals and snacks to children ages 0-18 in communities with high levels of need. Libraries and SFSP are a great fit! Libraries are free and open to all, welcome children and teens, offer enrichment programming, and in many cases have a community meeting room or other interior space where food may be served. For these and other reasons, libraries are very attractive to SFSP sponsors and state administrative agencies. SFSP is good for the library too - Besides the obvious benefits of addressing hunger and supporting vulnerable youth, participation benefits libraries through:

  *   Access to new user groups, especially underserved and marginalized populations;
  *   Increased visibility of the library as a community asset;
  *   Opportunities for new partnerships;
  *   Positioning of the library as an important stakeholder in community well-being and positive child outcomes;
  *   Support for summer library programming through increased attendance.

If you want to talk to Oregon libraries who are already supporting summer meals in some way, there are folks already doing this work who would be happy to talk with you:

ODE Summer Food Service Site:

Cecili Longhorn at Stanfield can tell you all about the ODE paperwork (541) 449-1254 or librarydirector at cityofstanfield.com<mailto:librarydirector at cityofstanfield.com>

Libraries serving meals at their location & partner with their school district or others to get meals:

Joanie Bedwell at Hazel Lewis, (541) 439-5311, jbedwell at coastlinelibrarynetwork.org<mailto:jbedwell at coastlinelibrarynetwork.org>

Lauren Simon at Tualatin: (503) 691-3077, lsimon at tualatin.gov<mailto:lsimon at tualatin.gov>

Libraries that visit summer meal sites with summer reading outreach programs:

Araceli Acosta at Beaverton: (503) 350-4092, aacosta at beavertonoregon.gov<mailto:aacosta at beavertonoregon.gov>

I know the ODE website can be laborious, but Jessica Visinsky, contact info below, would be happy to talk with you. Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon<https://oregonhunger.org/> is another great resource, especially if your library is not able to be a meal site but wants to connect to meal sites in your area. The best person to contact there is Fatima Jawaid, Child Hunger Prevention Manager. Her e-mail is fatima at oregonhunger.org<mailto:fatima at oregonhunger.org>, and her phone is (503) 595-5501x307

Please let me know if you have questions.



Greta Bergquist
Youth Services Consultant
503-378-2528 | www.oregon.gov/library<https://www.oregon.gov/library>
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January 30, 2020

Media Contact: Marc Siegel, marc.siegel at state.or.us<mailto:marc.siegel at state.or.us>

More Schools, Community Organizations Sought for Summer Food Service Program Oregon Department of Education Seeks to Increase Sites to Feed Children and Teens this Summer

 (Salem, Ore.) - In Oregon, only 36,549 of the 294,754 children who are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals in the National School Lunch Program participate in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) is seeking more schools, community organizations and tribes to participate in SFSP this summer to help ensure that children and teens receive the nutritious meals they need during the summer months. Last summer, Oregon's 137 summer food sponsors served more than 1.5 million meals and snacks at 872 locations.

"Access to healthy meals and enrichment programs in the summer supports a child's educational and physical growth," ODE Summer Meals Outreach Coordinator Jessica Visinsky said. "When children miss out on chances for meals and enrichment during the summer, it causes a gap that they must try to make up when school reconvenes. Supporting the Summer Food Service Program transforms the summer gap into a summer boost!"

It is important to expand the program and close the hunger gap in all areas of the state, and ODE's Child Nutrition Program is particularly interested in serving more summer meals in the following 11 counties: Clatsop, Gilliam, Grant, Jefferson, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, Sherman, Tillamook, Union and Wheeler.

What Schools And Communities Can Do This Summer

Schools and communities play a major role in ensuring hungry kids and teens get the meals they need during the summer months. Ideas on how schools and communities can take "one more" action to get meals to kids include:

  *   Become a Summer Food Service Program sponsor
  *   Add one more meal; if you are already serving lunch, add a snack or a breakfast meal - or a hot meal
  *   Add one more day, week, or month of service during the summer
  *   Add one more site; sites can not only be in schools, but also in parks, recreation centers, community pools, and libraries
  *   Add one more activity at summer meal sites to increase participation

Schools, non-profit community organizations, local government agencies, camps and faith-based organizations that have the ability to manage a food service program may be SFSP sponsors by entering into an agreement with ODE. Sponsors are reimbursed for serving healthy meals and snacks to children and may manage multiple sites.

Sites are places in the community where children receive meals in a safe and supervised environment. Sites may be located in a variety of settings, including schools, parks, community centers, health clinics, hospitals, libraries, migrant centers, apartment complexes and faith-based locations. Sites work directly with local sponsors.

Apply to Sponsor a Summer Meals Program and Apply for Outreach Funds

ODE has state grant funds available up to $20,000 to start up or expand summer meal programs.  For more information, please email Jessica Visinsky<mailto:jessica.visinsky at state.or.us> or call (503) 947-5897.

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