Summer Food Service Program Updates - May 2019

department of education

Summer Food Service Program Updates – May 2019

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

Program Application

  • Program applications for the 2019 summer are due in CLiCS by May 15.
  • Select Program Year 2020 when applying.
  • 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.

Summer School Site Reminders

  • When submitting a site application in CLiCS for a summer school site, mark the Summer School Program check-box under question 1.
  • 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’ 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 by free, reduced price, and full paid category, 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 or federal 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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Update: SFSP Waiver Requests Approved

In a previous Nutrition Program Update, we shared that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had rescinded (i.e., cancelled) four waivers that it had previously granted to all state agencies administering the SFSP. We also shared that MDE was planning to re-apply for those waivers, so that they would be re-approved before the 2019 summer program year began. We are happy to report that all four waiver requests have been approved. You can view more details about our waiver request in the Public Notice posted in the Minnesota State Register (p. 734).

Since the waiver requests were approved, there are no operational program changes for this year.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at 651-582-8526 or 1-800-366-8922.

Program Regulations and Guidance

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)
  • Now Available! SFSP Meal Planning for Summer Success! (one hour)

The following course is 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)

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Promote Open SFSP Sites to the Public

  • Households can use the following resources to locate open SFSP sites throughout Minnesota. These resources rely on information from CLiCS, so please keep your CLiCS applications up to date to ensure accurate information is shared with the public.
    • Download the Summer Eats 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.

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Off-Site Field Trip Meals

Meals taken off-site on field trips can be claimed for reimbursement if notice is provided to MDE by 8 a.m. the morning of the field trip. Report field trips.

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2019 Administrative Review List Now Available

  • View the 2019 Administrative Review List. Sponsors on this list can expect a site review at any time throughout the summer. The reviews may be announced or unannounced.
  • A MDE nutrition consultant will contact you in May or during the summer to schedule a review.
  • New SFSP sponsors are not included on the review list, but will also receive a state agency administrative review this summer.

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Grant Opportunity from 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.

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Food Safety Kits

We have a limited supply of 2019 Summer Meals Food Safety Kits, from the Institute of Child Nutrition, to distribute on a first-come, first-served basis.

The kit includes the following items, all packaged in a water resistant pouch:

  • Summer Meals Food Safety Training Guide
  • Three posters (hand washing, proper glove use, and food safety tips)
  • Hot and cold temperature magnets
  • Food thermometer
  • A pen, and instructions

Interested in a food safety kit(s)? Email In the subject line, include Food Safety Kit. In the message, include your sponsor ID, name, shipping address and how many kits you would like to receive.

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