The West Virginia University Upward Bound program has announced the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.

Through the food service program, income-eligible students attending the six-week residential portion of the Upward Bound program – which began July 1 and will run through Aug. 10 – will receive free meals.

Upward Bound will receive reimbursement from the USDA for those meals. They will be reimbursed approximately $1.90 for breakfast, $3.33 for lunch and $3.33 for dinner. They could receive as much as $5,600.

“The money that we save by using the food service program will go directly back into the Upward Bound Summer Program to provide our students with more opportunities, and increased services,” said Fran Bennett, director of Upward Bound. “We also feel that the food service program will provide a strong foundation for our students to develop healthy eating habits.”

In order to receive the reimbursement, the meals must meet certain nutritional criteria. Each meal must have a certain amount of milk, fruit, vegetable, grain and meat products. For a list of the complete guidelines, visit

Hatfields in the Mountainlair and Full Bowl Catering at the Gaskins House will provide the meals.

A federally-funded TRiO program, Upward Bound is designed to help high school students overcome social, academic, cultural and class barriers to higher education. WVU Upward Bound serves up to 60 students in ninth to 12th grades from Clay-Battelle High School, Grafton High School and Preston High School.

The high schools are targeted based upon criteria that mark them as needy, including low college-going rates, high student to counselor ratios, high drop-out rates, and low family income levels. For more information on Upward Bound, visit

Thirty students are attending the summer program, which is designed to give students a taste of college life and to give them the skills necessary to be successful in high school and in college. Students attend a variety of classes on the WVU campus that range from healthy relationships to Chinese to financial literacy. Students also participate in service learning opportunities, tour college campuses, and engage in other cultural activities. Eligible students take WVU courses for credit.

This year’s theme is “Get Your Green On,” with many activities focused on sustainable living. The WVU Office of Sustainability is partnering with the program and leading seminars on recycling, energy conservation and green housing.

In accordance with federal law and USDA policy, WVU is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC, 20250-9410, or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (Voice). TDD users can contact the USDA through local relay or the Federal Relay at (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (relay voice users). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

If a child attending the Upward Bound program is a member of a food stamp household or an Aid to Families with Dependent Children assistance unit, the child is automatically eligible to receive free program meal benefits, subject to completion of the free/reduced application form.

To view the USDA’s income-eligibility guidelines, visit



CONTACT: Frances Bennett, Upward Bound

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