NEWS RELEASES 2017-18 :: JUNE 13, 2018


N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs mascot, “Ray F. Sun,” and State Superintendent Mark Johnson visited the General Assembly today to share information about summer meals for students. The Department of Public Instruction’s School Nutrition Services section works with local schools and organizations to offer summer nutrition programs, providing children and teens with nutritious meals when school is out.

“The need for healthy meals does not stop when school is out,” Johnson said. “Summer Nutrition Programs help provide children in our state not only with nourishment, but also educational and enrichment activities they need to continue learning and be ready to return to school after the break.”

One in four North Carolina students struggle with not knowing where their next meal will come from. During the school year, many students rely on the nutritious meals served through the School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, and Afterschool Meals Program. But hunger doesn’t take a summer break. Last summer, N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs served more than 5.2 million meals to children and teens, but only 12 out of every 100 public school students eligible for the program received these meals.

Raising awareness and working with community stakeholders are key to ensuring all kids who need summer meals can benefit from these vital programs. The student-designed mascot Ray F. Sun is making appearances across the state to help promote the state’s Summer Nutrition Programs. Ray’s middle initial “F” stands for food, fitness and fun –  all things offered by Summer Nutrition Programs to ensure students return to school healthy, fit and ready to learn. Members of the North Carolina General Assembly can help not only to spread the word to children and families about these community resources, but also encourage schools and organizations to serve as Summer Nutrition Program sites and citizens to volunteer with these programs.

N.C. Summer Nutrition Programs serve meals at no cost to children and teens, ages 18 and younger, at more than 3,000 locations across the state. To find #NCSummerMeals near you, visit or call 1.866.348.6479 (English) or 1.877.842.6273 (Spanish). You can also text FOODNC (for English) or COMIDA (for Spanish) to 877-877. It is easy to participate and no sign up is required.

The Summer Nutrition Programs are administered by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Services, using federal funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Citizens and organizations interested in more information should contact NCDPI Summer Nutrition Programs Manager Cynthia Ervin.

USDA and NCDPI are equal opportunity providers and employers. Additional information regarding School Nutrition Programs in North Carolina can be found on the School Nutrition Services website.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and 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) available 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:
mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
fax: 202.690.7442; or

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.