Summer Food Service Program Updates - April 2019

department of education

Summer Food Service Program Updates – April 2019

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

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.
  • Not planning to renew your SFSP application this summer? Please send a message to and let us know the reason.

Back to Top

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.

Back to Top

Contracts for Vended Meals

  • Visit the SFSP Procurement and Contracts webpage for procurement information and 2019 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.

Back to Top

Grant Opportunities

Second Harvest Heartland (SHH)

Second Harvest Heartland (SHH), in partnership with Share our Strength, is offering grants to increase the number of children receiving summer meals.

  • Grants funds are available to new and renewing SFSP sponsors in SHH’s service area.
  • Funds may be used for equipment, personnel, transportation, and other non-food program expenses.
  • Applications are due April 29.
  • For more information, visit the Second Harvest Heartland website.

Hunger Impact Partners

Hunger Impact Partners is awarding grants ranging from $500 to $2,500 to increase participation in the SFSP. For more information, visit the Hunger Impact Partners website.  

Back to Top

Training Opportunities

Sponsors must keep abreast of current program requirements, annually train their staff and maintain documentation of training, including a dated sign-in sheet and agenda.

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)

Register for the in-person SFSP workshop 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.

Back to Top

Program Regulations and Guidance

  • Current SFSP program regulations (7 CFR 225) are available for you to view on the U.S. Government Printing Office website.
  • Program Guidance is available in the program handbooks, which are available on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. Updated versions may be posted in the upcoming months, but we don’t anticipate significant changes to them. If you need to print copies for training staff, you may use the versions currently available.

Back to Top

Promoting Open SFSP Sites to the Public

Materials to Promote Sites

Resources to Locate Open Sites

Families and youth can use the following resources to locate open SFSP sites throughout Minnesota.

  • Call the 2-1-1 Hotline or from cell phones – Twin Cities Metro Area: 651-291-0211, Greater Minnesota: 800-543-7709, TTY: 651-291-8440.
  • Call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-Hungry or 1-877-8-HAMBRE, available from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Central Time.
  • Text "Summer Meals" to 97779. Spanish speakers, text "Verano" to 97779.

How can you help promote SFSP?

  • Share the above resources with households.
  • Keep CLiCS applications up to date to ensure accurate information is shared with the public through these resources.

Back to Top

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 on the 2019 SFSP Reimbursement Rates info sheet.

Back to Top

2019 Adult Meal Prices

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

Back to Top

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).

Back to Top

Not Currently an SFSP Sponsor, but Interested in Participating?

Back to Top