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Summer Food Service Program


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Fuel Up for Summer Fun: Eat Smart. Play HardSummer 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.

Information for Program Sponsors

2018 information for program sponsors will be updated throughout the spring. In the meantime, the 2017 information below will act as a gauge to what is required of food program sponsors.

Summer Food Service Program Tidbits Webinar Series

Summer Meal Sites

View the 2017 SFSP open meal sites 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. New this year, you can also text ‘Food’ or ‘Comida’ (for Spanish speakers) to 877-877 to receive text information on summer meal sites 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, contact the appropriate sponsor from the file below. Note not all counties have SFSP sponsors.

SFSP Sponsors

SFSP Guides

Refer to USDA guides while planning and implementing your summer food service program. Here are a few resources available to look for when accessing SFSP Guides.

  • Administrative Guidance for Sponsors
  • Monitor's Guide
  • Nutrition Guidance for Sponsors
  • Site Supervisor's Guide
  • Site Supervisor's Guide (Spanish)

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

Promotional Resources

USDA Summer Meals Toolkit

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.

Summer Meals promotional resources and public service announcements can be found on the USDA Raise Awareness page. Promotional resources include templates for flyers, postcards, bookmarks, and business cards.

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 April 22, 2018 at 7:02am.