Believe it or not, summer will soon be here. While it means months of fun and frolicking in the sun for some kids, others may worry about a lack of regular meals when school's out. Schools, nonprofit youth enrichment programs, summer camps and even Vacation Bible Schools can help minimize food insecurity by participating in a federally reimbursed meal program, either the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
The Seamless Summer Option is for schools serving meals under the National School Lunch Program during the school year. It's "seamless" because it allows schools to follow the same operational guidelines during the summer that they abide by during the school year. The Summer Food Service Program is open to schools, nonprofit organizations, youth enrichment programs, day camps and the like.
The SFSP is the primary program for summer meals and provides a higher reimbursement rate (see 2019 SFSP reimbursement rates) than the Seamless Summer Option, which is reimbursed at the "free" rate for NSLP/SBP. Under SFSP, school food authorities and nonprofit sponsors can operate both open and enrolled sites during the summer.
The USDA has many resources to help you offer a successful summer feeding program. Click the links above to access training materials, meal patterns, policy memos as well as promotional tools to spread the word of your program.
Please help fill a critical need for kids this summer by providing nutritious meals.
Photo: USDA via Flickr