(Media release from Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning):

The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) is looking for nonprofit organizations to serve free healthy meals and snacks to children this summer through Happy Helpings, Georgia’s Summer Food Service Program. Organizations that are approved to serve meals will be reimbursed for every eligible meal that meets USDA’s nutritional guidelines.

Happy Helpings is federally funded by the USDA and administered by DECAL’s Nutrition Services Division. The program ensures that any child 18 and under has access to nutritious meals and snacks during the summer when school is not in session.

Organizations eligible to participate in Happy Helpings include units of government, private or public nonprofit organizations; camps; universities or colleges and schools. “Organizations across the state are needed to operate the Happy Helpings program this summer,” said Tamika Boone, director of Nutrition Services. “However, there is an especially high need to provide access to meals in counties where the child food insecurity rate is greater than 30 percent. These counties include Clay, Crisp, Dougherty, Early, Hancock, Macon, Terrell and Warren,” she added.

Nutrition Services provides training and support relating to the application process; setting up and operating a successful meal site; and nutrition education. Technical assistance is also available to organizations while the program is operating.

Organizations may also participate in the program by operating a meal site, which is the location where children eat their meals in a supervised setting. The meal site must be located in school zone where 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Meal sites are located in an area where children naturally congregate such as a church, apartment complex, park, community center or school.

For more information about Happy Helpings, please visit or contact Cindy Kicklighter at [email protected] or by phone at (678) 841.3170.