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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                          CONTACT:

NOVEMBER 21, 2003                                                                     Michelle mowery johnson

                                                                                    (615) 313-4707 / office

(615) 272-0845 / pager  








NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Tennessee Department of Human Services is helping more children in need receive healthy, nutritious meals while they are out of school for summer break through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).   More than three million three hundred thousand meals were served to Tennessee children this past summer.


Based on data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Tennessee experienced a six percent increase in the number of meals served under the 2003 SFSP.  This increase ranked second in the Southeast region, with only Kentucky exceeding the growth rate experienced by Tennessee.


The goal of the SFSP is to ensure that needy children are not missing out on quality meals they receive during the regular school year through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs.


“For many children, the school year is a time when they can count on at least one nutritious meal a day,” said DHS Commissioner Virginia T. Lodge.  “This program helps these children bridge the gap from the last day of school to the first day of school.  Our efforts to reach and help needy children are clearly paying off.” 


SFSP is funded through the USDA’s National School Lunch Act and administered by the Departments of Human Services and Education.  More than 1,100 feeding sites participating in the program administered by DHS included public parks, recreation centers, faith-based institutions and special education programs operated by colleges and universities.  The Department of Education administers feeding sites at public schools.    


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