ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Applications are now open for a food service program in New York.

On February 4, New York State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa announced that the State Education Department started accepting applications for the 2022 Summer Food Service Program.

This program, first established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, helps to provide low-income children with nutritious meals when schools are not in session.

NYSED selects eligible programs to provide these meals including public and nonpublic nonprofit school authorities, local, county, municipal and state governmental agencies, tribal territories, migrant programs, nonprofit agencies, faith-based organizations and camps.

Sponsors are organizations fully capable of managing a food service program and agree to serve meals to any eligible child in accordance with Federal Law, USDA policy, guidance, and instructions, including federal civil rights laws, regulations, and policies. A site is a physical location, approved by NYSED, where SFSP meals are served during a supervised time period.

According to NYSED, last school year, 574 sponsoring organizations served meals at over 3,000 locations across New York State.

“Consistent access to healthy foods is critical to a child’s development,” Commissioner Rosa said in a press release.  “The State Education Department has administered the Summer Food Service Program for 22 years, growing it into the success it is today serving meals at over 3,000 locations each summer. We look forward to another summer of providing wholesome meals to our state’s children.”

In 2022, the Summer Food Service Program will operate throughout New York State from June 27 through September 5, 2022.

Summer Food Service Program sponsors will receive federal and state reimbursements for each meal served to a child or teen. This amount is a predetermined reimbursement rate set by the USDA and New York State.