State Officials Seek Help for Summer Meal Program

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By Aaron Hepker

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are looking for groups to sponsor a site for a meal program that feeds students who may go hungry during the summer.

The state Department of Education says the Summer Food Service Program provides healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income neighborhoods through the summer.

Officials say the program currently reaches less than 10 percent of the more than 195,000 Iowa students who qualify for free or reduced-priced lunches during the school year.

The program is federally funded, but sponsors can help offset operational and administrative expenses. Participation involves a group providing a staff, supervision and distribution. Sponsors can include public or private nonprofit schools, colleges and universities. Local, municipal, county and other government entities are also encouraged to participate.

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