Summer Food Service Program for Children
To assist States, through grants-in-aid and other means, to conduct nonprofit food service programs for children. This program operates in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 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.
In addition there are discretionary grant initiatives to improve access and test alternative methods for feeding children over the summer. The methods being tested through these demonstrations are:
1. Extending Length of Operation: Eligible SFSP sponsors received an additional 50 percent lunch served if they operated for 40 or more days during the summer.
2. Activity Incentive: Eligible sponsors received a mini-grant of varying amounts to provide activities to children at their SFSP meal service sites.
3. Summer Home Delivery: Meals are delivered to homes or community drop-off sites for children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals to consume at home during the summer.
4. Food Backpacks: Bags containing meals are provided to children attending SFSP sites for them to take home to consume on the days that traditional SFSP sites are not open, typically weekends and holidays.
5. Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC)-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Free and reduced-price eligible children receive a per month SNAP EBT benefit that their families can use to purchase food during the summer.
6. SEBTC-Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Free and reduced-price eligible children receive a per month WIC EBT benefit that their families can use to purchase food during the summer.
General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Fiscal Year 2014: During July 2014, the peak month of program operations, approximately 2.63 million children participated in the program on an average day, an increase from the 2.43 million children that participated in July 2013. During FY 2014, 44,806 feeding sites provided 160.1 million meals to needy children through the SFSP. This is a 6 percent increase from the 151 million meals provided in FY 2013. There were increases in all types of meals, but the largest numerical increases were in breakfasts (2.9 million) and lunches (5.0 million). Suppers increased 10.8 percent (0.6 million). Compared to FY 1990, meals have increased 75.5 percent from 91.2 million. Fiscal Year 2015: The current estimate projects 169 million SFSP meals served in FY 2015. Additional funding in the FY 2015 budget allows FNS to continue the SEBTC-SNAP project in counties in existing States. Fiscal Year 2016: The current estimate projects 177.4 million meals, which would be a 5 percent increase above the FY 2015 estimate. 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.
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, Sections 9, 13 and 14, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1758, 1761 and 1762a; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, P.L. 111-80, Section 749(g)(1).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
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.
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.
The allowability of costs incurred by States in administering this program will be determined in accordance with USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations (7 CFR Parts 3016 and 3019). 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Service institutions may apply directly to the responsible State agency. Applicants that are not public institutions must furnish evidence of tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This program is subject to the provisions of USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations (7 CFR Parts 3016 and 3019).
When an application is approved, the sponsor signs an agreement with the administering agency.
States were selected for the Summer EBT for Children (SEBTC) SNAP and WIC models based on a formal grants selection process.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
The State agency must make a decision within 30 calendar days of receiving a complete and correct sponsor application. If an incorrect application is received, the State agency must notify the applicant within 15 days and provide technical assistance to complete the application.
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?
How may assistance be used?
Funds are made available 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.
This program 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 this program 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 per child each day. Camps and sites primarily serving children of migrant workers may be approved to serve up to three reimbursable meals 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.
Summer demonstration projects either address funding limitations that restrict participation or provide an alternate approach to summer feeding needed by children unable to access traditional congregate feeding sites. Assistance must be used for specific activities authorized by Child Nutrition legislation. There may be restrictions as required by the legislation.
1. Extending Length of Operation: Only sponsors operating for 40 or more days during the summer were eligible.
2. Activity Incentive: SFSP sponsors were required to apply for selection by the State to receive the mini-grant.
3. Summer Home Delivery: Sponsors had to apply for a competitive grant selection process conducted by FNS. Sponsors in three States were selected to participate in this demonstration project. Only children certified eligible for free and reduced-price school meals were eligible to receive meals through this demonstration.
4. Food Backpacks: Sponsors had to apply for a competitive grant selection process conducted by FNS. Sponsors were only eligible if they had successfully operated SFSP the previous year. Sponsors in three States were selected to participate in this demonstration project.
5. SEBTC-SNAP: Only States that formally applied and were selected by FNS were eligible to implement this. Only free and reduced-price eligible children whose families consented to participation were eligible to receive benefits.
6. SEBTC-WIC: Only States that formally applied and were selected by FNS were eligible to implement this. Only free and reduced-price eligible children whose families consented to participation were eligible to receive benefits.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Sponsors file monthly reports on program operations to claim reimbursement for meals served. States must then submit final program reports to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) no later than 90 days after the claiming month. No cash reports are required. No progress reports are required. No expenditure reports are required. No performance monitoring is required.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in OMB Circular 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: Sections 13(b) and (k) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1761, describe the funding formulas for cash assistance. Cash reimbursement to States under this program is the product obtained by multiplying the number of meals served by maximum rates of reimbursement established by USDA. State agencies use the cash assistance to reimburse sponsors for eligible meals served to eligible children. Since all meals are served free, all meals of the same type are funded at the same rate. Rates are adjusted annually on January 1, to reflect changes in the "Food Away from Home" series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Assistance is available for the period covered by the agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Cynthia Long, 3101 Park Center Drive Room 628, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. Phone: 703-305-2590.
(Formula Grants) FY 14 $464,439,000; FY 15 est $495,521,000; and FY 16 est $535,633,000 - Summer Food Service Program. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - Food Backpacks. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 Not Available; FY 15 est $16,000,000; and FY 16 est $66,900,000 - SEBTC-SNAP. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - Summer Home Delivery. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 Not Available; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - SEBTC-WIC. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0 - Activity Incentive/Extending Length of Operation.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No Data Available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program regulations are codified at 7 CFR Part 225.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: FNS published a report on the Summer Food for Children Demonstration Projects, which is available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/ops/child-nutrition-programs. Fiscal Year 2015: FNS published evaluation findings in three reports, which provide details on the enhancements and outcomes. The reports are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/ops/child-nutrition-programs. Fiscal Year 2016: Further evaluation will use administrative data from issuance, redemptions, and school meals applications to determine the effectiveness of Summer EBT benefit delivery.