The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO), provides kids and teens in low-income areas free snacks and/or meals when school is out.
There are a number of ways that schools and local organizations can be a part of providing summer meals.
Thank you for your interest in helping to feed children in your community as a sponsor in the Summer Food Service Program! Community organizations new to operating the SFSP can start the process by completing the SFSP Prospective Entity Form.
Schools and community organizations interested in becoming a site that serves summer meals should contact Health and Nutrition Services to confirm the site is in an eligible area. Request information by email at [email protected] or by phone 602-542-8700.
ALL summer operators wishing to utilize this waiver must opt into it. Operators will opt into this waiver by completing the Demonstration Project for Non-Congregate Feeding for Outdoor Summer Sites Experiencing Excessive Heat Participation Form and submitting this form to [email protected]. By opting into this waiver, sites will be permitted to conduct a non-congregate meal service on days when the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory, Excessive Heat Warning or Excessive Heat Watch for the area where the site is located. The participating operator will be required to track and report to HNS the number of meals served under this flexibility in the survey link provided below, and keep documentation supporting the Excessive Heat Warning/Watch from the National Weather Service.
Children need good nutrition, all year long. Schools have the option to operate Summer Food Service Program, the Seamless Summer Option, and the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, to provide nutritious meals, after the regular school year ends.
Which program will be the best option for serving meals to children in your community? To help you decide, we have created a fact sheet to review the three feeding options.
USDA is implementing regulatory changes to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) regulations that simplify program requirements for SFSP program operators, improve the customer experience for participating children and families, and strengthen the integrity of the program. Many provisions codified through this final rule were previously allowed as program flexibilities and are demonstrated to facilitate program administration and service delivery for children and their families. This rule is effective Oct. 1, 2022. Compliance with the provisions of this rule must begin May 1, 2023.
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) conducts Administrative Reviews (ARs) of all School Food Authorities (SFAs) and Community Organizations (COs) operating the Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option. The review schedule will be released this summer.
Each June, HNS invites all operators to participate in the Farm Fresh Challenge during their summer meal programs. The challenge is an initiative designed to empower summer program operators to cultivate excitement around fresh and locally sourced foods. Participating operators must complete a series of challenges that promote the tasting, teaching, and connection of participants to foods local to Arizona.
Challenge details for 2023 will be released early May.
Turnip the Beet! High Quality Summer Meals Award Program
Each summer USDA recognizes outstanding Summer Meal Program sponsors who work hard to offer appetizing, appealing, and nutritious meals. The Turnip the Beet Award was created to showcase sponsors who are going above and beyond to ensure that children in their care are receiving high-quality meals that are both nutritious and appetizing. Nominations must be sent to HNS by September 30, 2023.