Summer Food Service Program Updates - March 2019

department of education

Summer Food Service Program Updates – March 2019

Bulletin Topics (Click the link to jump to each section)

Site Eligibility

Are you wondering if a site is eligible to participate as an open site in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)?

  • To be open to all children in the area, a site must be located where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free/reduced-price meals.
  • Public school and census data are used to determine eligible areas for the SFSP. Once a site is determined to be area eligible, the eligibility is good for five years.
  • To see school- and census-eligible areas, check out the list of schools that are eligible based on school data or view the Child Nutrition Program Eligibility Map.
  • To check a site’s eligibility on the map, open the map and select the Summer Meal Programs bar on the right. Census-eligible areas will be shaded pink and school data-eligible areas will be dotted. Type in a site address at the top of the map and select Map Address. If the red balloon is in a pink-shaded area, or a dotted area, the site is area eligible.

Sponsors can check the dates of eligibility for renewing SFSP sites by logging into CLiCS and going to the 2019 SFSP site application, in the site participation eligibility section.

If a site is not area eligible, but is serving a group of children and over 50 percent of them are eligible for free/reduced-price meals, other methods may be used to qualify the site. For more information, check out the site eligibility section in the USDA Administrative Guidance for Sponsors or contact our office at or 800-366-8922 (toll free).

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Training Opportunities

The following SFSP courses are now available online, and sponsors and staff can access them at any time. Visit the SFSP Training webpage to view the online courses.

  • Civil Rights (45 minutes)
  • The SFSP Basics (also known as MDE – 100) includes 19 interactive courses, each about 10-15 minutes long.
  • The SFSP Refresher (also known as MDE – 170) includes three short courses, one of which is a shortened version of the Civil Rights course. (one hour)

The following courses are coming soon:

  • Menu Building Basics – Utilizing Child Nutrition (CN) Labels and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Recipes to Build a Cycle Menu (one hour)
  • SFSP Meal Planning for Summer Success! (one hour)

Save the date! A half-day in-person workshop will be offered on April 23. This workshop is not a comprehensive SFSP training and is not required, but is intended to supplement the online training. Those who are new to the SFSP and register for the in-person workshop must view the online Basics courses prior to attending the in-person workshop. Register for the in-person SFSP workshop.

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Program Application

  • Program applications for the 2019 summer are now available in CLiCS.
  • Select Program Year 2020 when applying in CLiCS. Applications are due May 15.
  • Application instructions are available on the SFSP Applications webpage.
  • Renewing SFSP sponsors do not need to submit a declaration of intent.
  • Not planning to renew your SFSP application this summer? Please send a message to and let us know the reason.

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Summer School Site Reminders

  • Sites with summer school that participate in SFSP must operate as open sites.
    • The site must be located in an eligible area to participate as an open site and must be open to serving children in the surrounding community; meal service cannot be limited to attending summer school students.
    • Sites may only participate in SFSP as ‘restricted open’ sites if site participation needs to be limited due to reasons of space, security, safety, or control.
  • Sites with summer school that do not want to operate as open sites, or are not located in an eligible area and therefore cannot participate in SFSP as open sites, may continue to claim summer school meals under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Meals served under NSLP must be claimed under the free, reduced price, and full paid categories, as they are during the school year.
  • How do you know if a program is considered summer school? If you answer yes to some or all of the following questions about the summer program, it is probably summer school.
    • Are state education funds used to operate the program?
    • Is the program considered targeted services or an extended year program?
    • Are the program classes taught by licensed teachers?
    • Is the program required for students?
  • Examples of programs that are not summer school include summer camps, summer child care, community education or other enrichment programs, etc.
  • School sites not offering summer school may participate in SFSP as open, closed, or camp, as appropriate. 

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Contracts for Vended Meals

If you are planning to obtain vended meals for your summer food sites, it is time to think about procuring a vendor.

  • Visit the SFSP Procurement and Contracts webpage for procurement information and new/renewal vended meal contract templates.
  • Renewing a Vended Meal Contract?
    • A current contract may be renewed effective July 1, 2019, if both parties agree to renew and the contract has not already been in effect for five years (the original contract plus four one-year renewals).
    • The maximum allowable increase for 2019-20 meal prices is 2.5 percent of 2018-19 meal prices.

Please note that if your site receives vended meals, you must upload a Contract for Vended Meals or a Food Service Management Company Contract into your CLiCS site application before the application can be approved.

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2019 Reimbursement Rates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) reimbursement rates for calendar year 2019. You can see the rates and more details at the 2019 SFSP Reimbursement Rates info sheet.

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2019 Adult Meal Prices

View the 2019 Adult Meal Prices and Guidance on offering adult meals in the SFSP.

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Not Currently an SFSP Sponsor, but Interested in Participating?

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