DHS: Summer food program provider application to open January 14

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Applications for the 2019 Arkansas Summer Food Service Program (ASFSP) will be processed in two phases, beginning in January, according to officials with the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS). The first period, only for schools and government sponsors, will open on Jan. 14. All other provider applications will be accepted beginning Feb. 15, and the deadline for all applications is April 30, 2019. The ASFSP operates through DHS to provide healthy snacks and meals to children who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year. It is 100 percent funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“In 2018, the daily summer program provided more than 1.5 meals and snacks at 700 sites at a cost of $1.4 million. Youth ages 18 and younger or persons over 18 who are deemed either mentally or physically handicapped and who participate in a public school established for mentally or physically handicapped are eligible.

Typically, schools and daycares are summer food program providers, but any public or non-profit summer camps, community centers, churches, government agencies or similar groups can apply. Providers will be asked to supervise the production, distribution, and administrative tasks of their sites. All meals and snacks must meet USDA nutritional guidelines. USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

All applicants must complete an eligibility process that includes free training and approval by DHS, USDA, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Organizations that qualify will be reimbursed for costs of all meals and snacks served.

The deadline for all applications is April 30. To submit an ASFSP application or receive program technical assistance, please call (501) 682-8869 or visit https://dhs.arkansas.gov/dccece/snp/SummerInfoM.aspx.

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