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Summer Food Service Program for Children

SFSP
Number: 10.559
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service

Program Information 

Program Number/Title (010):
10.559 Summer Food Service Program for Children
Federal Agency (030):
Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture
Authorization (040):
Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, Sections 9, 13 and 14, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1758, 1761 and 1762a; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2010, P.L. 111-80, Section 749(g)(1).
Objectives (050):
To assist States, through grants-in-aid and other means, to conduct nonprofit food service programs for children. This program operates in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), State agencies, and local organizations to provide free meals to eligible children during the summer months and at other approved times, when school is not in session.

In addition there are discretionary grant initiatives to improve access and test alternative methods for feeding children over the summer. The methods being tested through these demonstrations are:

1. Extending Length of Operation: Eligible SFSP sponsors received an additional 50 percent lunch served if they operated for 40 or more days during the summer.
2. Activity Incentive: Eligible sponsors received a mini-grant of varying amounts to provide activities to children at their SFSP meal service sites.
3. Summer Home Delivery: Meals are delivered to homes or community drop-off sites for children eligible for free or reduced-price school meals to consume at home during the summer.
4. Food Backpacks: Bags containing meals are provided to children attending SFSP sites for them to take home to consume on the days that traditional SFSP sites are not open, typically weekends and holidays.
5. Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC)-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Free and reduced-price eligible children receive a per month SNAP EBT benefit that their families can use to purchase food during the summer.
6. SEBTC-Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): Free and reduced-price eligible children receive a per month WIC EBT benefit that their families can use to purchase food during the summer.
Types of Assistance (060):
FORMULA GRANTS
Uses and Use Restrictions (070):
Funds are made available for disbursement to eligible service institutions (sponsors) which provide free meals to children in areas where at least 50 percent of the children meet the income eligibility criteria for free and reduced price meals. Meals may be served to children 18 and younger, and to individuals over 18 who participate in State-approved school programs for persons with disabilities.

This program generally operates during the months of May through September at site locations where regularly scheduled food services are provided for children. Sites may also participate in this program from September through May if an area school is closed because of an emergency situation. Sponsors operating food programs for children on school vacation under a continuous year-round calendar may apply for participation in other months.

Reimbursement may be paid for one meal and one snack or two meals per child each day. Camps and sites primarily serving children of migrant workers may be approved to serve up to three reimbursable meals each day. Meals must meet USDA standards to be eligible for reimbursement. Funds are also paid to participating State agencies for administrative expenses related to program staffing, operation, and oversight.

Summer demonstration projects either address funding limitations that restrict participation or provide an alternate approach to summer feeding needed by children unable to access traditional congregate feeding sites. Assistance must be used for specific activities authorized by Child Nutrition legislation. There may be restrictions as required by the legislation.

1. Extending Length of Operation: Only sponsors operating for 40 or more days during the summer were eligible.
2. Activity Incentive: SFSP sponsors were required to apply for selection by the State to receive the mini-grant.
3. Summer Home Delivery: Sponsors had to apply for a competitive grant selection process conducted by FNS. Sponsors in three States were selected to participate in this demonstration project. Only children certified eligible for free and reduced-price school meals were eligible to receive meals through this demonstration.
4. Food Backpacks: Sponsors had to apply for a competitive grant selection process conducted by FNS. Sponsors were only eligible if they had successfully operated SFSP the previous year. Sponsors in three States were selected to participate in this demonstration project.
5. SEBTC-SNAP: Only States that formally applied and were selected by FNS were eligible to implement this. Only free and reduced-price eligible children whose families consented to participation were eligible to receive benefits.
6. SEBTC-WIC: Only States that formally applied and were selected by FNS were eligible to implement this. Only free and reduced-price eligible children whose families consented to participation were eligible to receive benefits.
Eligibility Requirements (080)
Applicant Eligibility (081):
The State or U.S. Territory agency applies for and signs an agreement to receive Federal funds for disbursement. The State agency enters into an agreement with each sponsor that has been approved for participation. The agreement is permanent and may be amended as necessary to ensure compliance with all Federal requirements. Sponsors must agree to operate a nonprofit food service that is available to all eligible children regardless of race, sex, color, national origin, age, or disability.
Beneficiary Eligibility (082):
A service institution that conducts a regularly scheduled program for children from areas in which poor economic conditions exist is eligible to participate as a sponsor in this program. Sponsors include public or private nonprofit school food authorities; public or private nonprofit colleges or universities operating the National Youth Sports Program during the months of May to September; units of local, municipal, county, or State governments; and other faith or community-based private nonprofit organizations.

Public or private nonprofit residential or nonresidential summer camps may also participate. However, at camps, reimbursement will only be paid for meals served to enrolled children who are individually determined to be eligible for free and reduced price school meals under USDA Income Eligibility Guidelines.
Credentials/Documentation (083):
The allowability of costs incurred by States in administering this program will be determined in accordance with USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations (7 CFR Parts 3016 and 3019). OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.
Application and Award Process (090)
Preapplication Coordination (091):
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedures (092):
OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Service institutions may apply directly to the responsible State agency. Applicants that are not public institutions must furnish evidence of tax-exempt status under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. This program is subject to the provisions of USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations (7 CFR Parts 3016 and 3019).
Award Procedure (093):
When an application is approved, the sponsor signs an agreement with the administering agency.

States were selected for the Summer EBT for Children (SEBTC) SNAP and WIC models based on a formal grants selection process.
Deadlines (094):
Not Applicable.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time (095):
The State agency must make a decision within 30 calendar days of receiving a complete and correct sponsor application. If an incorrect application is received, the State agency must notify the applicant within 15 days and provide technical assistance to complete the application.
Appeals (096):
The State agency must have a hearing procedure for local institution grievances.
Renewals (097):
The agreement is permanent and may be amended as necessary to ensure compliance with all Federal requirements.
Assistance Consideration (100)
Formula and Matching Requirements (101):
Statutory Formula: Sections 13(b) and (k) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 U.S.C. 1761, describe the funding formulas for cash assistance. Cash reimbursement to States under this program is the product obtained by multiplying the number of meals served by maximum rates of reimbursement established by USDA. State agencies use the cash assistance to reimburse sponsors for eligible meals served to eligible children. Since all meals are served free, all meals of the same type are funded at the same rate. Rates are adjusted annually on January 1, to reflect changes in the "Food Away from Home" series of the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.
Matching requirements are not applicable to this program.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance (102):
Assistance is available for the period covered by the agreement. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Post Assistance Requirements (110)
Reports (111):
Sponsors file monthly reports on program operations to claim reimbursement for meals served. States must then submit final program reports to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) no later than 90 days after the claiming month. No cash reports are required. No progress reports are required. No expenditure reports are required. No performance monitoring is required.
Audits (112):
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in OMB Circular A-133.
Records (113):
Sponsors must maintain full and accurate records of program operations for a period of 3 years after the end of the fiscal year to which they pertain. However, where there are unresolved audit findings, records must be retained until there is satisfactory resolution of all audit issues.
Financial Information (120)
Obligations (122):
(Formula Grants) FY 13 $434,724,000; FY 14 est $461,584,000; and FY 15 est $492,738,000 - Summer Food Service Program. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 13 $8,807,262; FY 14 est $1,288,602; and FY 15 est $30,000,000 - SEBTC-SNAP. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 13 $401,744; FY 14 est $0; and FY 15 est $0 - Summer Home Delivery. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 13 $8,318,931; FY 14 est $3,436,482; and FY 15 est $0 - SEBTC-WIC. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 13 $0; FY 14 est $0; and FY 15 est $0 - Activity Incentive/Extending Length of Operation. (Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 13 $204,609; FY 14 est $0; and FY 15 est $0 - Food Backpacks.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance (123):
No Data Available.
Program Accomplishments (130):
Fiscal Year 2013: 151.05 million meals were served by 5,000 sponsors at 43,000 sites. Average daily attendance was 2.43 million.

The Extending Length of Operation project helped 163 SFSP sites in Arkansas stay open for a longer portion of the summer. This project ended in 2012.

The Activity Incentive helped 22 sites in Mississippi fund activities to children to attract them to attend the feeding site. This project ended in 2012.

The Summer Home Delivery project provided 130,000 meals to 1,000 children each year for a total of three years. This project ended in 2013.

The Food Backpacks project provided 130,000 meals to almost 5,000 children each year for a total of three years. This project ended in 2013.

The SEBTC-SNAP and SEBTC-WIC projects provided combined food benefits to over 100,000 children in 2013. Fiscal Year 2014: The SEBTC projects will be significantly scaled back, but will still provide benefits to almost 21,000 children. Fiscal Year 2015: Additional funding has been requested in the FY 2015 budget to extend the SEBTC-SNAP project.
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature (140):
Program regulations are codified at 7 CFR Part 225.
Information Contacts (150)
Regional or Local Office (151) :
See Regional Agency Offices. See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office (152):
Cynthia Long, 3101 Park Center Drive Room 628, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. Phone: 703-305-2590.
Website Address (153):
http://fns.usda.gov
Examples of Funded Projects (170):
Fiscal Year 2013: SEBTC-SNAP: Operated in Oregon (2011-present), Connecticut (2011-2013), Washington (2012-2013), Delaware (2012-2013), and Missouri (2011-2013).

SEBTC-WIC: Operated in Chickasaw Nation (2012-2013), Cherokee Nation (2012-present), Nevada (2012-2013), Texas (2011-2013), and Michigan (2011-present).

Examples of projects are described at http://www.fns.usda.gov/report-summer-food-children-demonstration-projects-fiscal-year-2013. Fiscal Year 2014: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available
Criteria for Selecting Proposals (180):
Not Applicable.