Begin Main Content Area

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

The United State Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), also known as the Summer Meals Program, is a federally-funded, state-administered program established to ensure children continue to have access to nutritious meals when school is not in session. The program provides free meals to children and teens age 18 and younger in low-income areas, and reimburses program operators who offer those meals. 

How does the SFSP benefit everyone that’s a part of it?

  • Children in low-income areas have free nutritious meals.
  • The parents of the children stretch food dollars when children receive meals in the summer.
  • Your organization receives federal money for providing meals.
  • Children return to school in the fall ready to learn after eating nutritious meals during summer vacation.

Research has determined that federally funded meals are an effective tool for reducing obesity among lower income children. All of the meals and snacks served through the Summer Nutrition Programs must meet federal nutrition standards. The meals served through the SFSP require servings of grains, proteins, fruits and vegetables, and milk.

Established since 1975, the SFSP provides free meals to children from low income families so they may receive the same high quality nutrition during school vacations that they get in school cafeterias during the school year. Continued nutrition helps children return to school after summer ready to learn.

What is Summer Food Service Program?

The SFSP is a federally funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered in Pennsylvania by the Department of Education. Non-profit organizations may sponsor the program and receive reimbursement for qualifying meals served to eligible children.

There is a great need for the SFSP, particularly in those areas of the Commonwealth where many children are eligible for free or reduced price school meals.

The following publication contains additional helpful information to learn more about SFSP:

Want to Help?

  • Become a Sponsor
  • Operate a Site
  • Meal Service
  • Volunteer to Help
    • If your organization cannot take on the responsibilities of a sponsor or a site, you can partner with a sponsor to provide activities that make summer fun, such as: Arts and Crafts, Mentoring, Dramatics, Computers, Tutoring, Kite Flying, Athletics, Games, Music, Reading, Coaching, Life Skills, Gardening, Cooking, Swimming, and Entertainment

For more information about the Summer Food Service Program, becoming a sponsor, meal site, volunteering or vendor, contact:
Phone: 1.800.331.0129 l Fax 717.783.6566

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
(2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
(3) Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.