Summer Food Service

Hunger is one of the most severe roadblocks to the learning process. Lack of nutrition during the summer months may set up a cycle for poor performance once school begins again. Hunger also may make children more prone to illness and other health issues. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is designed to fill that nutrition gap and make sure children can get the nutritious meals they need.

In Minnesota during summer 2014, approximately 170 schools and organizations operated nearly 700 SFSP sites and served close to 2.4 million meals to children 18 and under. Despite this effort, only 15 percent of needy children are reached with summer meals.

The Minnesota Department of Education seeks additional sponsors for underserved communities needing summer meal sites. Many sponsors combine a meal program with a summer educational or recreational activity program. Interested organizations may also become a meal site under a local sponsor or volunteer by transporting food, setting up or cleaning up a site, serving meals, organizing an activity, or sharing information about meal sites with families. More details are provided below in the SFSP Questions and Answers memo.

Interested schools and nonprofit organizations may register their interest by submitting the Interest Survey-New Participants.

Renewing sponsors should submit their Declaration of Intent to Participate annually by March 1.

Do you want to continue to serve meals outside the school day during the school year? Visit the At-Risk program page.

Looking for a meal site?
It’s important that parents know where summer sites are in their neighborhoods so they can get healthy, free meals to their children. Use these resources to find an SFSP site near you:

  • National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-HAMBRE. It’s a free call, available in both English and Spanish, and is available from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Eastern Time.
  • Call the 2-1-1 Hotline or from cell phones – metro area: 651-291-0211, outstate: 800-543-7709, TTY: 651-291-8440.
  • Text Second Harvest Heartland 612-516-FOOD (3663)
  • Is your site area eligible? To find the eligibility of your location, contact MDE-Food and Nutrition Service at 651-582-8526, 1-800-366-8922 (MN Toll-free), or email
Links to SFSP information, including an outreach toolkit, grants and other program resources, are available under Related Resources. Subscribe to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) listserv to receive important and timely information from us.

Read the nondiscrimination statement.

Program Regulations

Current program regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), are available on the U.S. Government Printing Office website.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Memos

Links to key USDA SFSP memos are provided below; for a complete set, use the link to USDA Policy Memos.

  • 2015 Summer Food Service Program Facts - 1/20/15
    Key facts about participation, funding, eligibility and more for the Summer Food Service Program.
  • Listserv Subscribe/Unsubscribe Form - 4/11/12
    E-mail listservs are used to communicate important and late-breaking program information to customers. Complete and submit form to be included on FNS listservs for indicated Child Nutrition Programs.