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.
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.
The Arizona Department of Education Recognizes Schools for Exemplary Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Programs
The Arizona Department of Education Health and Nutrition Services is pleased to announce the Program Year 2021-2022 BRAVOcado! awardees for excellent Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) operations. The BRAVOcado! Excellence Award is given to schools that demonstrate exemplary FFVP service and commitment to promoting fruit and vegetable consumption and healthy lifestyles to their students.
The FFVP BRAVOcado! Excellence Award recognizes schools that go above and beyond to operate a phenomenal FFVP program. To be eligible for the award, sites must meet criteria related to variety of produce items served, frequency of service, frequency of nutrition education, frequency of serving local produce, development of site-level and outside partnerships, and more!
The following three School Food Authorities went above and beyond and received the award this year. Congratulations to all awardees!