Many children participate in school breakfast, lunch, the fresh fruit and vegetable program, and after school snack. However, in the summer they lose access to those nutritious school meals. Hunger in the summertime contributes to “Summer Learning Loss” and obesity, and prevents children from enjoying their summer break. Summer Meal Programs bridge the gap between school years, giving children, age 18 and under, the fuel they need to play and grow throughout the summer and return to school ready to learn.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and state-administered by the Vermont Agency of Education Child Nutrition Programs. The program consists of sponsors who are administratively and fiscally responsible for the program and the sites where meals are served and consumed. Program sponsors can be supervisory unions or school districts, government entities, camps, or private, non-profit organizations. Reimbursement is based on the number of eligible meals served multiplied by a rate, established by the USDA. Rural and self-operated sites are supported by a higher level of reimbursement.
To find a Summer Meals Site Near You:
Call 2-1-1, the United Way - run resource hotline, or go to the Summer Meal Site Finder. Information is available mid-June.
- USDA Summer Meals Newsletters
- USDA Memos:
- Health & Safety Inspection Requirements
- Summer Meal Programs Meal Service Requirements Q&As
Requirements for Vermont Schools under Vermont Summer Meals Law:
16 V.S.A. § 1264 requires public schools that operate the National School Lunch Program to operate a summer meals program if they have at least 50% or more students eligible for free and reduced-price meals in any month in the preceding school year and offer some kind of educational or recreational program or camp for 15 or more hours a week during the summer. To find out your school’s eligibility percentage, please see the most recent Free and Reduced Eligibility Report.
Summer 2019 Summary:
In summer 2019, Vermont served 454,461 meals at almost 300 sites across the state. There are sites in every county, from the Northeast Kingdom down to Southern Vermont, and Burlington and the islands of Grand Isle over to the Upper Valley
- USDA Summer Meals Toolkit: Summer Meal Sponsors
- No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices
- USDA Best Practices: Meal Service
Requesting USDA Foods or Advances – Due April 30th
All Others – Due June 1st
- Template News Release for Open Sites
- Template News Release for Closed Enrolled Sites and Camps
- SFSP Income Eligibility Guidelines 2019
Sponsor-Level Monitoring Forms: