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SC Department of Education Seeks Sponsors for Summer Break Cafés

Daniel Prince

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The South Carolina Department of Education is offering local government agencies, school districts, faith-based organizations, and private nonprofit organizations an opportunity to provide summer meals to children by becoming a sponsor or a summer meal site for the Summer Break Café.

The Summer Break Café is a summer food service program funded by the US Department of Agriculture and administered by the SC Department of Education’s Office of Health and Nutrition to serve healthy meals to children during the summer months when school is not in session.

Virgie Chambers, Deputy Superintendent of District Operations, Safety, and Student Wellness with the Department of Education stated that for the last two summers, due to the impact of the pandemic, there was a significant decrease in the number of non-school community sponsors and sites. The goal for this year is to recruit new sponsors in rural counties and encourage those sponsors who did not operate the previous two years to return.

Approved sponsors can receive reimbursements for serving meals that meet the USDA guidelines to any student aged 18 or younger at approved sites. Sites can be at schools, churches, recreation centers, hospitals, cafeterias, farmer’s markets, community and migrant centers, and other areas in the local community. Sponsors receive training and support relating to the application process, setting up and operating a successful program, and nutrition education. They also receive technical assistance while the program operates. To learn more, visit the SC Department of Education’s website at and search for Summer Break Café. A virtual informational meeting will be held on Microsoft Teams on January 26, from 10-noon. Participants are asked to register by January 21. The registration form is at on the USDA Summer Meal Programs page.

Last year, Foster Park Elementary School served as a Summer Break Café site for one week. The YMCA and Twist and Shout also participated in the program last summer.

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