Summer Food Service Program


Locate Summer Meals in Your Area: Text FOOD to 877-877

Meal Quality Matters

The USDA has new tools for improving the quality of summer meals that Sponsors offer. This one-page resource includes tips for getting started, sample menus and a plan to take action. Download the handout at

Summer Food, Summer Moves

Enjoy this resource kit to get kids and families eating healthy and being physically active during the summer. The kit includes an operator activity guide and pritable posters and flyers. Music, games, art and movement are all used to encourage eating fruits and veggies, choosing water and limiting screen time. Access the resource kit here: Summer Food, Summer Moves

Offer Versus Serve (OVS) in SFSP

The offer versus serve option (OVS) in the SFSP is now available. View at Learn what OVS is, what the requirements are in SFSP and see examples of reimbursable OVS meals.

What is the Summer Food Service Program?

Children need good food all year long, even when they’re not in school. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides healthy meals to children, age 18 and younger, free of charge.

The Summer Food Service Program:

  • feeds low income children in the summer
  • gives a boost to public and private nonprofit summer programs
  • helps give low income children the best start on the new school year
Summer Food Service Program Training coming soon!

Find out which Sponsors operate the Summer Food program in your area.

With summer meals, children get the nutrition they need to learn, play and grow during vacation when they do not eat at school. Sponsors of the SFSP receive funds that support programs serving low income children when there is no school. Where do children go for summer meals? Many SFSP sites provide not just meals, but educational, enrichment and recreational activities that help children continue to learn and stay safe when school is not in session. Summer meals act as an extra magnet to draw children to activities – and activities draw children to meals – at places like:

  • schools
  • camps
  • boys and girls clubs
  • kids cafes
  • park and recreation centers
  • vacation bible schools
  • libraries
  • community pools
  • libraries
  • congregations
  • YMCAs
  • Head Start centers
  • hospitals
  • 21st century learning centers
  • National Youth Sports programs at colleges and universities
  • Upward Bound programs
  • 4-H Clubs
  • community action agencies
  • food banks
  • homeless shelters

How do organizations participate? Even if you think your staff, time and resources are stretched too thin, your organization can still participate in the SFSP. Some organizations may not be able to sponsor the program, but they can supervise meals, recreation and enrichment activities for children at a site Signup up as a food service site means nutritious, prepared meals will be delivered to your location with less paperwork for you.

What will your organization do as a food service site? As a sponsored site, you will have an arrangement with another organization that is approved to administer the program. The sponsor will have staff and management experience to help you learn how to run your food service site successfully. Your sponsor will determine if your stie is eligible, train your staff, arrange for meals to be prepared or delivered, monitor your site and prepare claims for reimbursement. If you operate a summer food service site, you will:

  • attend your sponsor’s training
  • supervise activities and meal services at your stie
  • distribute meals by following SFSP guidelines
  • keep daily records of meals served
  • store food appropriately
  • keep the site clean and sanitary
  • follow SFSP guidelines

What kind of meals will your site serve?

The SFSP serves meals with milk, meat, fruits, vegetables and bread. Meals have all the good things that children need to grow up strong and healthy.

All meals and snacks meet USDA’s nutrition standards.

Children might get breakfast, lunch supper or snack, depending on what your site serves.

Most food service sites can provide up to two meals – either a breakfast and lunch or breakfast and supper – or one meal and a snack.

For more information contact Nutrition Services at (800) 731-2233.

SFSP information on the USDA web site

USDA Videos for the Summer Food Service Program are now available