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Become a Sponsor/Application Process

Sponsors receive payments from USDA, through the PA Department of Education, based on the number of meals they serve. All meals are served free to eligible children.
Sponsors are organizations that manage the SFSP feeding sites. Sponsors must: 
  • Attend an Annual Training
  • Locate and recruit eligible site(s)
  • Hire, train and supervise staff and volunteers
  • Arrange for meals to be prepared or delivered
  • Monitor their site(s)
  • Prepare claims for reimbursement
  • Ensure that their SFSP is sustainable through community partnerships, fundraising and volunteer recruitment.
The following types of organizations may be sponsors: 
  • Public or private nonprofit schools
  • Units of local, municipal, county, tribal or State government
  • Private nonprofit organizations
  • Public or private nonprofit camps
  • Public or nonprofit universities or colleges

How to Become a Sponsor – The Application Process

The steps to become a sponsor include:

  1. Obtain a Vendor Number. This number will need to be entered on the New Sponsor Checklist and Profile document.
  2. The Agreement Number will be assigned by the State Agency after the forms are submitted.
  3. Follow the instructions on the paperwork for completion and submission. The required paperwork can be found at the link below.
  4. In addition to the forms, a copy of the 501 (c) (3) Tax Exemption Letter from the Federal IRS is required.
  5. After the paperwork is reviewed and processed, Sponsors will receive an email containing a password and login for access into the Pennsylvania Application and Reimbursement System (PEARS) and information regarding training.
  6. Complete application, budget and site information on PEARS. This may be done after your initial training.
  7. Claims for reimbursements are managed through PEARS.

The required paperwork and reference manuals for new SFSP sponsors are available on the PEARS New Sponsor Application Package website. Be sure to select Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Sponsors that participate in another Child Nutrition Program such as the School Nutrition Program or the Child and Adult Care Food Program should contact the SFSP team at for information on becoming a New SFSP Sponsor and adding the SFSP to your nutrition offerings .