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Get Involved with the Summer Food Service Program in your Community

The two most direct ways to get involved in the Summer Food Service Program in your community are to either become a sponsor or a feeding site. What’s the difference you may ask? Being a sponsor means acting as the organizer for Summer Food Service sites. Sponsors manage, train, supervise and monitor all food service activities and locations where children can eat. They also maintain paperwork and submit claims for reimbursement. You can also be a feeding site and work under a sponsor. Feeding sites are the physical locations where children come to receive a free meal during the summer. Being a feeding site involves providing a safe place for kids to eat and making sure the meals served to kids meet the required meal pattern for a reimbursable meal. If you are interested in participating as a sponsor or as a feeding site, the best way to get information is to contact your state office that administers the Summer Food Service Program. The deadline to apply as a sponsor varies from state to state, but it is usually before June 15. There is no deadline to be a feeding site. There are also other ways you can get involved. Consider volunteering! Providing activities are what keeps children coming back. This takes volunteers—and LOTS of them—especially in June, July and August. You can plan and do educational or recreational activities with the kids. You can also help with basics things like transporting food, setting up or cleaning up a site. Again, contact your state agency to find a sponsor or feeding site to volunteer within your area. A little help goes a long way. If you are a parent, you can certainly participate by doing a little research and finding a feeding site close to your home, and then walking or bringing your child or children to the site. Where are these feeding sites? Go online and do a web search for “USDA SFSP feeding site” in your city. You can also go to this directory or contact your state agency to find the nearest site. To get started and involved, and for a comprehensive list of all state offices that administer the Summer Food Service Program, please visit our website. Thanks for your interest in keeping children in your community healthy and eating nutritious meals throughout the summer months!