Summer Nutrition Forum panelists (far left): Efrain Maldonado, HUD San Juan Field Office Director; Luis Ortiz, Puerto Rico Department of Housing Deputy Secretary; Diana Limbacher, USDA-FNS Acting Administrator; at podium James Harmon, USDA-FNS Regional Director for SFNP
Several federal and state agencies in Puerto Rico have partnered to ensure the success of a summer nutrition program, "Verano Nutritivo", in HUD subsidized housing and other supported housing across the island. This program seeks to ensure that children and teenagers receive quality meals during the summer, a crucial time for children since they may not be receiving the balanced nutrition typically provided in schools.
The USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) team is working together with the HUD San Juan Field Office, USDA Rural Development and the State Department of Education and several local housing partners. On March 5, 2014, HUD hosted a "Summer Nutrition Forum" with more than 70 participants to increase awareness and the number of feeding sites. FNS Mid-Atlantic Acting Administrator Diana Limbacher and Regional Director James Harmon were panelists, as well as The Puerto Rico Department of Housing Deputy Secretary Luis Ortiz, who highlighted the importance of this program in public housing communities, and their enthusiasm in conducting outreach and becoming a committed partner. Children who participate in this program can receive up to three balanced, nutritional meals free of charge in any participating day camp, organized activity, or free meal designated site.