Exploring the Summer Food Service Program

Learn What The Summer Food Service Program Means For YOU

(DailyDig.com) – The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is provided during the summer months to children and teens who come from low income families. It gives them the opportunity to eat healthy meals and snacks for free because the program is funded by the federal government. There is a lot of great information out there regarding this program and how it works, and here are some of the facts.

What Is The Summer Food Service Program?

The SFSP was set up by the federal government to ensure that children and teens who come from low income families are still able to have access to food during the summer months. This is very important because the children and teens, who normally are fed at least two meals a day at school, would no longer have access to these meals. The food is served at local sites within the community for free, and they are then reimbursed by the federal government.

Who Provides The Food?

The cost of the food is funded by the federal government, but the food itself is prepared and provided by safe locations within each community. The site is required to be a safe site where the children can come and get their food in a supervised manner. Some commons locations where the meals are served are schools, parks, community centers, health clinics, apartment complexes, churches, and migrant centers. Before food is served at any of these locations, they must first be pre-approved and working directly with a sponsor of the program.

Who Qualifies For The Food?

When it comes to who qualifies for the food, this includes all children and teens who are 18 years of age or under. No income data or other information is needed in order for the child to get the free food.

How Does The Program Work?

The program involves three components, the state agencies, the sponsors, and the sites that serve the food. The state agencies start the process by administering the program to the sponsors, while working directly with the USDA. The sponsors create an agreement with the state agencies saying that they will serve the food. Sponsors are generally schools, government agencies, camps, and other faith-based and/or nonprofit organizations within the community. The requirement for these locations is that they must have the facilities needed to run the program. Sponsors can actually run several sites where the food is served.

How Are Sites Found?

The sites that serve the food can be found in a variety of ways. One way to find the sites in a certain area, is to go to the USDA’s website, plug in the location, and see what the options are in that area. There are also likely informational flyers located around each town or city where the food is served, such as schools, grocery stores, banks, post offices, churches, etc. Lastly, word of mouth is also a good way to find out about where the food sites are located.

Who Serves The Food?

The food itself is served by volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to making sure that all the children and teens who need food in the summer, are able to get it. Volunteers prepare the food, serve the food, and clean up afterwards. Volunteers are also in charge of setting up games and other activities at food sites.

Overall, the Summer Food Service Program is a great way to ensure that children and teens get the food that they need during the summer months. It is made possible by the Federal Government, state agencies, sponsors, the sites that serve the food, and all the generous volunteers.

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