Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education, recently joined State Senator Thomas McGarrigle at Garrett Williamson’s Camp Garrett program in Newtown Square, where they toured the Videon Educational Garden and met with participants and providers at the camp’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) site.
“It is always a highlight of my job to meet the students and educators of the commonwealth, and today’s visit was no exception,” said Rivera. “Camp Garrett’s participation in the Summer Food Service Program, along with the other programs and activities it provides to students, demonstrates its commitment to Pennsylvania’s children all year long, even when school is out of session.”
Camp Garrett is a 10-week day camp that provides activities, projects, and special events for children ages 5-15. The SFSP provides free, nutritious meals to children during the summer months when school is not in session.
“I was happy to visit Camp Garrett today and get to see firsthand the good work happening there,” said McGarrigle. “Camps like this are a great opportunity to provide children with fun activities in a safe environment while providing nutritious meals when school is not in session.”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture administers and funds the SFSP, projecting more than 200 million free meals to be served to children ages 18 and under in summer 2017 across the nation. The Pennsylvania Department of Education reports that there are nearly 3,000 SFSP sites in Pennsylvania serving a total of about 6,000 meals over the season.
However, Rivera said it is critical that providers reach more children and narrow the hunger gap that summer may bring by providing more organizations and meals throughout the state, especially in rural areas.