Special to the Journal
ATLANTA – Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is hoping to serve more nutritious meals to children this year through its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), administered by DECAL and funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Beginning February 1, 2014, the agency will offer a special grant program to help feed more children. DECAL is partnering with the Georgia Food Bank Association’s Feeding for a Promising Future – No Kid Hungry campaign to offer capital investment grants to entities participating in the SFSP.
“We are very pleased to offer grant awards ranging from $4,000 to $20,000 that can be used for food preparation, equipment and supplies, storage, and delivery of meals and snacks,” said DECAL Commissioner Bobby Cagle. “This funding will allow us to expand existing site and service areas, as well as serve more children through a backpack program and mobile meal strategies.” To be eligible for the grant, sponsors must be approved to provide meals/snacks for summer 2014; must agree to maintain prior year sites and meal service, and expand services by establishing a back pack program, serving more meals than served in the prior year; and/or to establish a mobile feeding site in the following counties: Baker, Ben Hill, Columbia, Early, Echols, Hancock, Haralson, Heard, Lee, Lincoln, Marion, Peach, Schley, Seminole, Stewart, Taliaferro, Taylor, Warren, and Webster.
“Organizations can provide meals at churches, libraries, parks and recreation centers, summer camps, public housing communities, or any location in the local community where children congregate and play during the summer months,” said Falita Flowers, Interim Director of Nutrition Services. “Organizations can also be creative and operate mobile sites in counties where transportation to traditional feeding sites is a hardship for parents and children.”
To learn more about the Summer Food Service Program and this special grant opportunity, contact DECAL’s Nutrition Services Division, toll free at 1-855-550-SFSP (7377), or by email at SFSP@decal.ga.gov.
USDA and Bright from the Start are equal opportunity employers and providers.
About Bright from the Start
Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is responsible for meeting the child care and early education needs of Georgia’s children and their families. It administers the nationally recognized Georgia’s Pre-K Program, licenses child care centers and home-based child care, administers Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) program, federal nutrition programs, and manages voluntary quality enhancement programs.
The department also houses the Head Start State Collaboration Office, distributes federal funding to enhance the quality and availability of child care, and works collaboratively with Georgia child care resource and referral agencies and organizations throughout the state to enhance early care and education. For more information, go to www.decal.ga.gov.