The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is encouraging schools and qualified community organizations to participate in the 2023 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), according to a press release from the IDOE.
The SFSP reimburses local sponsors that serve healthy free meals and snacks to children 18 years old and younger. Sponsorship is open to public and private nonprofit groups, including local governments, summer camps, religious organizations and recreation centers. Organizations may also consider partnering with an existing sponsor, such as a school corporation, to serve students in areas where children may lack good nutrition during the summer months.
In 2022, more than 180 Indiana sponsors served nearly 2.5 million meals during the summer months. In addition to providing free meal service in a local community, many sponsors also offer educational or physical activities for students.
Created in 1968, the Summer Food Service Program is funded and operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is administered by the states. Participating organizations must adhere to all USDA regulations. The program is funded through a reimbursement based on the number of meals served to eligible participants. Any student age 18 or under is eligible to receive meals through the Summer Food Service Program by visiting a meal site.
The application deadline for new sponsors is April 30. More information on program eligibility and sponsor requirements is available at www.in.gov/doe/nutrition/summer-food-service-program/.