Delaware’s Congressional Delegation Trumpets Grant Award to Help Children Access Healthy Food Year-Round
WASHINGTON – Today, Sens. Tom Carper, Chris Coons and Rep. John Carney (all D-Del.) congratulated the Delaware Department of Education on a grant award to improve nutrition assistance to low-income children in Delaware during summer months. The Delaware Department of Education will use the $404,216 to implement the Home Delivery demonstration project through the Food Bank of Delaware’ s Newark and Milford branches.
The Home Delivery demonstration project will provide funding to develop ways to deliver summer meals to eligible children in rural areas at a sustainable cost. The meals will include a variety of nutritious foods including low-fat milk, locally grown fruits and vegetables and fresh or frozen entrees that are easy to prepare. The project is one of two grant-funded programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that will be used to test innovative alternatives to enable children from low-income households to access healthy food during the summer. The project will also boost participation in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), which provides meals to children from low-income households during summer months.
“A complete, nutritious diet is critical for Delaware’s children to be able to grow into healthy adults,” said the Delaware Delegation. “Whether it’s December or July, our kids need regular access to wholesome food and meals so they can lead healthy lives and learn to the best of their ability. This grant from the USDA will help increase access to healthy food and we will continue to support similar programs that ensure that Delaware’s children, regardless of where they live, have access to nutritious and healthy meals throughout the year.”
Begun as a pilot program in 1968, today’s Summer Food Service Program provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months and long vacation periods for schools on year-round schedules. Program sponsors, which include schools, government agencies, residential and non-residential camps and faith-based organizations, served nearly 134 million meals at eligible sites in 2010.
Improving child nutrition is also a focal point of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that was signed by President Obama on December 13, 2010. This legislation reauthorizes USDA’S child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program and the National School Lunch Program, which serves nearly 32 million children each day. It will allow USDA, for the first time in over 30 years, the chance to make real reforms to the school lunch and breakfast programs by improving the critical nutrition and hunger safety net for millions of children. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is the legislative centerpiece of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. To learn more, visit www.LetsMove.gov.
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) oversees the administration of 15 nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the child nutrition programs, that touch the lives of one in four Americans over the course of a year. These programs work in concert to form a national safety net against hunger. Visit www.fns.usda.gov for information about FNS and nutrition assistance programs.