Summer Food Service Program for Children


To assist States, through grants-in-aid and other means, to conduct nonprofit food service programs for children. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates SFSP in partnership with State agencies and local organizations to provide free meals to eligible children during the summer months and at other approved times, when school is not in session.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
A - Formula Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2016 The current FY 2016 estimate projects 177.4 million meals, which would be a 5 percent increase above the FY 2015 estimate. FNS will focus on sustaining SFSP expansion through targeted efforts at the State and local level, efforts to improve access in rural and tribal communities. An increase in SEBTC funding in FY 2016 will help participating States reach the large number of low-income children who do not have access to SFSP and will enable FNS to evaluate whether SEBTC is a viable option to address childhood hunger during the summer over an expanded area. FNS focused on decreasing childhood hunger in the summer months through targeted assistance at the State and local level and efforts to improve access in rural and tribal communities. During FY 2016, 48,618 meal service sites provided 154.5 million meals to children. The number of meals served declined 5.5 percent from FY 2015. Compared to FY 1990, meals have increased 70.2 percent from 91.2 million. Approximately 57.2 percent of the meals served were lunches, 28.2 percent were breakfasts, and the remaining 14.7 percent were suppers or snacks. FNS awarded Summer EBT funding to 2015 grantees to continue and expand their efforts to reach more children in rural, tribal, and other areas of significant need. Grantees were approved to target benefits to over 250,000 children, nearly 90 percent more than were served in 2015.
Fiscal Year 2017 During 2017, 151.9 million meals were served to children at 40,386 sites. In an effort to institutionalize successful strategies, FNS shifted from targeting assistance in focus States to promoting sustainable growth nationwide.
Fiscal Year 2019 The current estimate projects 157 million meals, which is an increase of approximately 6 million meals above the number of meals served in FY 2018.
Fiscal Year 2020 The current estimate projects 160.6 million meals to be served to children in FY 2020, which is an increase of approximately 3.1 million meals above the estimate for FY 2019.
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, Sections 9, 13, 14, and 26, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1758, 1761, 1762a, and 1769g
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The State or U.S. Territory agency applies for and signs an agreement to receive Federal funds for disbursement. The State agency enters into an agreement with each sponsor that has been approved for participation. The agreement is permanent and may be amended as necessary to ensure compliance with all Federal requirements. Sponsors must agree to operate a nonprofit food service that is available to all eligible children regardless of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.
Beneficiary Eligibility
A service institution that conducts a regularly scheduled program for children from areas in which poor economic conditions exist is eligible to participate as a sponsor in this program. Sponsors include public or private nonprofit school food authorities; public or private nonprofit colleges or universities operating the National Youth Sports Program during the months of May to September; units of local, municipal, county, or State governments; and other faith or community-based private nonprofit organizations. Public or private nonprofit residential or nonresidential summer camps may also participate. However, at camps, reimbursement will only be paid for meals served to enrolled children who are individually determined to be eligible for free and reduced price school meals under USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines.
Applicants that are not public institutions must furnish evidence of tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. An applicant submits a written application to the State agency for participation in SFSP as a sponsor.
Award Procedure
Each State agency enters into a written agreement with FNS for the administration of the Program. An approved sponsor enters into a permanent written operating agreement with the State agency.
Not applicable.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
The State agency must have a hearing procedure for local institution grievances.
The agreement is permanent and may be amended as necessary to ensure compliance with all Federal requirements.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) makes funds available to States for disbursement to eligible service institutions (sponsors) which provide free meals to children in areas where at least 50 percent of the children meet the income eligibility criteria for free and reduced price meals. Meals may be served to children 18 and younger, and to individuals over 18 who participate in State-approved school programs for persons with disabilities. SFSP generally operates during the months of May through September at site locations where regularly scheduled food services are provided for children. Sites may also participate in SFSP from September through May if an area school is closed because of an emergency situation. Sponsors operating food programs for children on school vacation under a continuous year-round calendar may apply for participation in other months. Reimbursement may be paid for one meal and one snack or two meals to each child each day. Camps and sites primarily serving children of migrant workers may be approved to serve up to three reimbursable meals to each child each day. Meals must meet USDA standards to be eligible for reimbursement. Funds are also paid to participating State agencies for administrative expenses related to program staffing, operation, and oversight.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in OMB Circular No. A-133.
Sponsors must maintain full and accurate records of Program operations for a period of 3 years after the end of the fiscal year to which they pertain. However, where there are unresolved audit findings, records must be retained until there is satisfactory resolution of all audit issues.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is available for the period covered by the agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: Letter.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See the FNS Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Cynthia Long
Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive Room 628
Alexandria, VA 22302 US
Phone: 7033052590
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Formula Grants) FY 18$563,817,000.00; FY 19 est $519,456,000.00; FY 20 est $551,928,000.00; FY 17$505,695,000.00; FY 16$539,938,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program regulations are codified at 7 CFR Part 225.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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