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 2013, almost 150 schools and organizations operated over 630 SFSP sites and served almost 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 in their neighborhoods are located so that they can get these healthy, free meals to their children. To find out the closest SFSP site near you, the following resources are available:

  • Call the 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 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, view the Second Harvest Heartland interactive map.


Related offsite resources include links to SFSP handbooks, memos and regulations, outreach toolkit, grants and other program resources. Subscribe to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) listserv to receive important and timely information on FNS topics.

Required nondiscrimination statement: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)

If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online, at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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.

  • 2014 Summer Food Service Program Facts 
    Key facts about participation, funding, eligibility and more for the Summer Food Service Program.
  • "Open" Summer Food Service Sites (summer 2013) 
    All sites provide free meals to children 18 and under. Meals offered may be breakfast, lunch, supper or snack. Sites listed by county, city, days of operation and site contact information.
  • Listserv Subscribe/Unsubscribe Form 
    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.