Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
- Provide healthy, safe, and nutritious meals to students during the summer months in a cost-effective manner.
- Provide training, on-site monitoring, and record-keeping to assure compliance with USDA, PDE, and health department rules and regulations.
- Partner with community agencies, school districts, and government agencies to provide quality services.
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“When school lets out for summer, millions of children lose access to school breakfast and lunch and are at risk of going hungry.
The USDA Food & Nutrition Service’s summer meal programs work to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
All children 18 years of age or younger may participate.
Persons may qualify up through age 21, if they are determined by a state or local educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and participate in public or private non-profit school programs during the school year for children with special needs.
All children in an area may qualify, regardless of individual income level, if the food service site draws its attendance from an area where at least 50% of the children are eligible for free and reduced-price meals or dwell in section 8 housing.
The Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Summer Food Service Program at the federal level. In Pennsylvania, the Department of Education operates the program through agreements made with public and private schools, local governments, non-profit residential camps, and non-profit agencies in areas where a school or local government does not operate the program. The Northwest Tri-County Intermediate Unit #5 operates this program in Crawford and Erie Counties.
- Housing Authorities
- Non-profit Agencies: Salvation Army, Soup Kitchens, Day Camps
To participate in the Summer Food Service Program, institutions must agree to:
- Operate food service for all children without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, age, or handicap.
- Provide meals that meet the nutritional standards established by the USDA for vended and self-prep sites.
- Serve meals
- Clean up after meals
- Ensure safe and sanitary conditions at the site
- Receive and account for delivered meals
- Ensure that children eat all meals on site
- Plan and organize daily site activities
- Implement alternate eating arrangements in inclement weather (outdoor site)
- Take accurate meal counts at point of service
- Keep all signs posted (Justice For All, serving times, and days of the week)
- Keep food at proper temperature
- Make sure site is neat and clean at all times
- Maintain records on a daily basis
- Documentation submitted on time
This program is an extension of the free and reduced lunch program provided in the school districts during the school year. Various school and community partners enable IU5 to provide free breakfast, lunch, and/or snack options to thousands of children each summer.