February 16, 2000                                                                                                    Doug Hutchinson at (615) 313-4740 or
                                                                                                                                   Patricia Harris-Morehead (615) 313-4707

DHS To Administer Sumemr Food Program

NASHVILLE, TN-The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) will again administer Tennessee's federally funded Summer Food Service Program for the summer of 2000. Each year, DHS officials contract with local sponsors who are responsible for providing the free meals and snacks to children.

Last year, 51 sponsors operated a total of 1,150 sites at locations such as parks, recreation centers, schools, churches, playgrounds, residential camps and public housing complexes during the summer months. These agencies collectively served one or more meals to more than 44,000 Tennessee children each day, and were reimbursed a total of $5.5 million in federal funds.

Sponsorship of the program is available to public and private nonprofit schools; state, county or municipal governments; public or private nonprofit colleges and universities participating in the National Youth Sports Program; residential public or private nonprofit summer camps; and nonprofit organizations.

Sponsors must agree to serve meals to all children in attendance regardless of their race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. For additional information on becoming a sponsor, contact David Farmer or Doug Hutchinson before March 27, 2000, at the address below:

Tennessee Department of Human Services
Adult, Child Care and Community Programs
Citizens Plaza Building, 14th Floor
400 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37248-9500
Telephone: (615) 313-4749

The deadline for sponsors to submit applications is April 26, 2000.  Congress established the Summer Food Service Program in 1968 to ensure that during school vacation needy children would receive the same high quality, nutritious meals during the summer months as they do when school is in session and the National School Lunch Program is in operation.

Children who participate in the program must be 18 years of age or younger. Persons over 18 years of age, who are mentally or physically disabled and participate in public or private non-profit school programs, designed especially for them, also are eligible to participate.