NEWS RELEASES 2017-18 :: OCTOBER 19, 2017

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The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) School Nutrition Services Section, along with a diverse group of partners, is inviting all private nonprofits, public organizations and advocates interested in eliminating summer hunger for children to participate in the fourth annual SummerPalooza! Summits.

The summits are a series of four regional, day-long celebrations and planning events developed to increase participation in and expand awareness of North Carolina’s Summer Nutrition Programs for children. The Summer Nutrition Programs, which are sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by NCDPI, provide funding for meals and snacks to children ages 18 and younger during their summer vacation. 

During 2016, nearly one million North Carolina children were eligible to receive free summer meals based on family income. According to The Food Research & Action Center’s Hunger Doesn't Take a Vacation: 2017 Summer Nutrition State Report (pdf, 442kb), fewer than 16 percent of those children received summer meals through the program. NCDPI is expanding its efforts to encourage more organizations to become program sponsors, and to provide more meal sites throughout the state. Almost 3,000 sites served meals across the state in 2017, but more are needed to fill the need. The SummerPalooza! Summits will connect, educate and empower organizations and individuals to work together so more young children and teens will have access to free summer meal programs in 2018.

“For many children and teens, summertime means food, friends and fun. For families who count on school breakfast and lunch, the summer months can be stressful and a time of hunger,” said Dr. Lynn Harvey, School Nutrition Services section chief at NCDPI. “During the summer, children and teens also can experience learning loss and a lack of physical activity. Connecting them to food and fun through the Summer Nutrition Programs will help fill these gaps.”

Organizations wanting to be a part of the solution in their communities are encouraged to register for a SummerPalooza! Summit. The dates, locations and registration deadlines are noted below. Registration is free, and lunch will be provided. Preregistration is required.

Monday, Nov. 6
Deep River Event Center, Greensboro
Registration deadline is Oct. 30

Tuesday, Nov. 7
Four Points Sheraton, Asheville
Registration deadline is Oct. 30

Tuesday, Nov. 14
Bob Martin Eastern Agricultural Center, Williamston
Registration deadline is Nov. 8

Thursday, Nov. 16
New Bern Convention Center, New Bern
Registration deadline is Nov. 8

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, employees and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

  1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
  2. fax: 202.690.7442; or
  3. email.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.

For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.