Add your strength!

Working with the Summer Food Service Program can have long lasting impact on Tennessee children. 

Get Involved!

Choose what works best for you. Get involved as a Sponsor, Feeding Site or Volunteer

Locally, approved SPONSORS, including school districts, local government agencies, camps or private nonprofit organizations, run SFSP. Sponsors provide free meals to a group of children at a central site such as a school or a community center. They receive payments from USDA through their state agencies for the meals they serve and for their documented operating costs.  The SFSP should be incorporated into an organized and adequately supervised youth activity (such as a recreational program) at suitable locations. Sponsors cannot delegate their administrative, operational, or financial responsibilities. 

As a meal SITE you have the opportunity to provide the location where sponsors serve program meals. Sponsors may serve meals at one or more approved sites under their administration. Regular sites may be approved to serve one or two meals daily (breakfast, snack, lunch and supper). However, both lunch and supper cannot be claimed at a regular site. All preparation facilities and serving sites are subject to inspections by local health departments.

School systems may operate the program at school and non-school sites as a continuation of their School Lunch and Breakfast programs. The state Department of Education administers this component of the SFSP.

As a VOLUNTEER you can assist in many areas. Some of the key areas could include, but not be limited to drivers distributing meals, assistance with food prep and/or other tasks identified by the sponsor or feeding site.

To be approved for SFSP participation, applications for Sponsorship must:

• Have federal tax exempt status or be a public entity.

• Accept financial and administrative responsibility for the program.

• Document the need of the area(s) to be served.

• Provide adequate personnel for the supervision of each site.

• Attend a DHS training workshop.

• Conduct pre-operational visits to all new sites.

• Train all site and administrative personnel involved in their program.

• Submit timely reports and maintain proper records.

• Cooperate with DHS and USDA monitoring personnel.

Eligible Sites

Sponsors of sites located in schools, churches, housing projects, parks, neighborhood centers, summer day camps and similar programs are eligible to participate in the SFSP if each site draws attendance from areas in which at least half the residing children are eligible for free or reduced priced meals under the school nutrition programs. This eligibility requirement may be based on information available from local school boards, housing authorities, or census data relative to the area served. Sites that are considered “open” sites provide meals to all children in the immediate area who wish to participate, subject to their capacity.

Also, a site may be determined eligible if it operates a “closed” program in which at least half of the enrolled children are eligible for free or reduced-priced school meals.

Sponsors can also operate the SFSP at residential camps and nonresidential day camps offering a continuous schedule of organized activities for children. Sponsors of camp sites must obtain information from the enrolled children to document their family’s size and income. Camp sponsors are reimbursed only for those meals served to children who have been individually determined eligible.

School systems may operate the program at school and non-school sites as a continuation of their School Lunch and Breakfast programs. The state Department of Education administers this component of the SFSP.

Summer Food Service Program Frequently Asked Questions 

If you are interested in participating, contact the Tennessee Department of Human Services SFSP staff by email at: TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov or call (615) 313-4749.