Summer food service program returns with new name

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has changed the name of its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to “Summer Break Café.”

The program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides free meals for youth and teens 18 and under during the summer months, June to August.

Summer Break Cafés are located throughout the state at designated sites including parks, libraries, churches and schools.

“We believe the new name for our Summer Food Service Program positively reflects our goal, which is to create a welcoming environment where youth in South Carolina can get healthy meals at no cost over the summer break,” South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said.

Students who rely on school-provided meals are most at risk of going hungry during the summer and the program aims to quell this disparity.

“Hunger and malnutrition not only make students more prone to illness and health issues but can also negatively impact school performance once the semester begins,” Spearman said. “We’re hoping the Summer Break Café fills the nutritional gap and gives students the meals they need and deserve.”

More than six million meals were served last summer and the SCDE hopes the fresh, new look of Summer Break Café will give an additional boost to its goal of serving meals to students who need them while school is not in session.

For up-to-date information regarding sites and times of operation, explore the USDA Summer Meals Map or text FOOD to 877-877.