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Published on February 17th, 2011 | by ABCUSA


ABHMS Encourages Participation In USDA’s Summer Food Service Program For Children, Youth

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/17/11)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) encourages American Baptist churches, neighborhood action programs and other child and youth-related ministries to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, which will help your ministry provide nutritious meals to low-income children and youth in your community.

Ministries can participate for one or all weeks of the summer. Opportunities will also be available during the school year.

The program is ideal for organizations that host summer enrichment, recreational or activity programs, including those at recreation centers, playgrounds, parks and camps. It is federally funded and administered by your state. If you presently have no summer youth program, one can be developed around the Summer Food Service Program for only two hours daily.

Participants decide whether to host the program as a site or sponsor. Each state’s agency reimburses sponsors for meals served to children, including teenagers through age 18, at approved meal sites in low-income areas. Simplified rules allow sponsors to earn the maximum reimbursement for the meals they serve and use the money as necessary to provide good nutrition. Sponsors must meet state requirements regarding kitchen facilities. Sites need not meet the same requirements as sponsors. Local parks can serve as sites.

For questions or more information about the Summer Food Service Program, including a list of state contacts, visit or contact your state agency.

If your ministry chooses to participate in the Summer Food Service Program, please inform Rev. Lisa Harris, ABHMS national coordinator of the Children in Poverty Initiative and Christian Center Relations, at or 800-222-3872, x2158.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

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