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Summer Food Service Program


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Summer is an exciting time for children to enjoy time with friends, a week at camp, a family vacation, or time at the pool. But for many children who receive free and reduced-price meals at school, summer can mean hunger. Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does a child’s need for good nutrition.

The Summer Food Service Program, administered by the Iowa Department of Education, provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months. There are many summer food service program feedings sites across the state of Iowa, however the program is still vastly under-utilized. The biggest barrier to children participating in the Summer Food Service Program is knowledge that feedings sites exist.

2015 Information for Program Sponsors

Feeding Sites

Open Feeding Sites - View the 2015 SFSP Open Site locations across the state of Iowa.

Call the United Way 2-1-1 line, the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (for Spanish speakers), or visit to find a free, nutritious summer meal site near you..

Summer Food Service Program feeding sites operate either as "open" or "enrolled" sites.

  • Open sites operate in low-income areas where half or more of the children are from households with income at or below 185% of the Federal poverty guidelines. Meals are provided at no charge to any child at the open site.
  • Enrolled sites provide meals only to children who are enrolled in an activity program, such as a day camp at the site. In order for an enrolled site to participate in the program, at least 50% of the children must be from households with incomes at or below 185% of the poverty level.

Residential camps and nonresidential camps may participate regardless of the location and are reimbursed only for eligible participants.


Programs in Iowa

If interested in obtaining information on Summer Food Service site locations, dates of operation, meals served and times of meal service, please contact the appropriate sponsor from the file below. Note not all counties have SFSP sponsors.

2015 SFSP Sponsors


2015 SFSP Guides

Refer to the following guides while planning and implementing your summer food service program.

How to Start a SFSP?
A Guide To Starting The Summer Food Service Program In Your Community


Promotional Resources

USDA Summer Meals Toolkit - The Summer Meals toolkit is designed for individuals and organizations interested in serving as Summer Meal champions in their communities at any level of program administration. The outreach materials below are from the USDA Summer Meals Toolkit and can be utilized to promote summer food service program sites in and/or around the communities you serve.

View the Exploring the New USDA Summer Meals Toolkit webcast.

USDA Power Up for Summer Fun Flyer
USDA Power Up for Summer Fun Flyer – Spanish Translation 
USDA Power Up for Summer Fun Tear-Off Flyer 
USDA Power Up for Summer Fun Customizable Flyer
USDA Power Up for Summer Fun Customizable Flyer – Spanish
USDA Summer Meals Yard Sign
USDA Summer Meals Yard Sign – Spanish Translation
USDA Power Up for Summer Fun Postcard
USDA Summer Meals Bookmark 
USDA Meet Up Flyer 
USDA Meet Up Flyer - Spanish Translation 

Summer Food Promotional Toolkit - This toolkit was developed in partnership with the Midwest Dairy council. The contents of the toolkit were to designed to help Summer Food Service Program sponsors to spread the word about their feeding sites and to increase participation.

Sodexo Foundation Summer Meals Outreach Toolkit - Share Our Strength with the support of Sodexo Foundation has developed this toolkit to help your organization work with the media to promote summer meals programs as well as outreach materials that you can tailor with tips to use in your community. 

Additional Resources

Food Research and Action Center – Summer Nutrition Programs
Food Safety Information
Food Safety Regulatory Authorities (by county)
FRAC Summer Food Mapper
Iowa Department of Transportation Office of Public Transit
No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practice 
No Kid Hungry Grant Opportunities Listing 
USDA Area Eligibility Mapper
USDA Summer Food Service Program
USDA Summer Food Service Program Legislation
USDA Summer Food Service Program Policy
USDA SFSP Capacity Builder
USDA Summer Meal Site Finder  
USDA Rural Designations Mapper

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on February 05, 2016 at 5:47pm.