CSA Summer Feeding Program seeking local site applications

By SARALYN NORKUS saralyn.norkus@clevelandbanner.com
Posted 4/20/17

The Bradley/Cleveland Community Services Agency is gearing up for its 2017 Summer Feeding Program, which is set to begin on June 1.

In order for the program to once again be a success, BCCSA …

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CSA Summer Feeding Program seeking local site applications

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The Bradley/Cleveland Community Services Agency is gearing up for its 2017 Summer Feeding Program, which is set to begin on June 1.

In order for the program to once again be a success, BCCSA is looking for site applications.

“We’re trying to get the word out that we’re taking applications for participation for sites involved in the Summer Feeding Program this year,” program coordinator Jackie Westfield stated.

The Summer Food Service Program, which provides children with breakfast and lunch, is administered in Tennessee by the Department of Human Services in agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and BCCSA is the local sponsor.

SFSP steps in to make sure that kids do not go hungry over the summer, as meals are not available from the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.

“For some kids, this is the only meal that they’re going to see all day,” Westfield said.

While Bradley, Polk and Rhea County were included in the SFSP last year, things will be slightly different in 2017.

“We’re doing a two-county area this year, Bradley and Polk County. Last year we did do three counties, but Rhea County has decided to do it on their own,” Westfield explained.

In 2016, Bradley County had 34 sites and Polk County had eight sites.

“Last year in Bradley County alone we served approximately 37,000 meals. In Polk County we served approximately 10,000 meals — their number was lower because we got started a little later,” Westfield said.

There is no charge for becoming a SFSP site and the only requirement is that the site is serving kids.

“We are really appealing to churches and their Vacation Bible Schools and summer school programs that they have going on,” Westfield explained.

BCCSA will be making use of Cleveland High School’s kitchen this year, which helps them logistically.

“One of the things that we’re excited about this year is our partnership with Cleveland High School. We’ll be preparing our meals out of the high school,” Westfield detailed.

The high school’s kitchen staff will be able to work for the Community Services Agency over the summer, preparing the meals.

According to Westfield, the sooner they start getting site applications, the better.

“Sites can’t be approved to operate until the state has approved the application — that’s usually a 10-day process,” she said.

“Our initial packet has to be in by May 1, so we’re shooting to have applications in from as many sites as possible before then.”

If your organization is interested in sponsoring a site, you may contact Westfield or the Bradley/Cleveland Community Services Agency at 423-479-4111.

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