Summer Food Service Program

Good nutrition is essential for effective learning every day, all year long. Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does the need for good nutrition. Summer meal programs help children get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow throughout the summer months.

Summer sponsors receive payments for serving healthy meals and snacks to children 18 years of age and younger. Meal sites must be located in lower-income areas and must be approved to operate by the state agency. An overview of the program is provided in the Summer Food Service Program Reference Sheet.

Local Education Agencies (LEAs) that participate in the National School Lunch Program may choose to operate the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) instead of the SFSP. Refer to the Comparison of Programs to help you determine the best program for your LEA.

Administering the SFSP

Program Operations

  • Food Service Management Companies (FSMC)- Program sponsors may contract with a commercial enterprise or nonprofit organization that manages any aspect of the organization’s food service program.
  • Menu Planning and Meal Patterns -Discover the components of the nutritious, well-balanced, and age-appropriate meals served.
  • Purchasing/ Procurement for Federal Programs - Sponsors are reimbursed through OSPI with funds from the USDA. Receiving public funds means sponsors are responsible to follow ethical business and purchasing practices set by USDA regulations.
  • Required Program Training- All sponsors must meet minimum training requirements.

Elevate Your Program

  • Farm to Summer- Summer is a time of agricultural abundance. Using Washington grown foods in your summer meal program is a great way to take advantage of all the produce our state has to offer.
  • Turnip the Beet Awards- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Turnip the Beet award recognizes outstanding summer meal program sponsors who work to offer high-quality meals to children that are appetizing, appealing, and nutritious.

SFSP Advisory Council

The purpose of the OSPI SFSP Advisory Council is to provide a forum for collaboration and understanding between OSPI and sponsors of USDA Child Nutrition Programs.

While not a decision-making authority, the advisory council will serve a critical role by: 

  • Providing input on and sharing of best practices, 
  • Providing input on training and resource needs; and
  • Engaging in peer-to-peer learning and support.

Member selection will be based on size, geographical location, meal production method, and type of sponsor to best represent sponsors in Washington. Sponsors may volunteer and/or be invited by OSPI. OSPI will make the final decision on members. Advisory Council members agree to be honest, transparent, and respectful in their dialogue with other Advisory Council members, and while representing the Advisory Council.

Terms of Service:

  • Advisory Council year is based on the program year.
  • The term of service is a minimum of 2 years (initial term may be longer).
  • 1/3 of the council will be replaced annually.

If you are interested in joining the Advisory Council, please complete the SFSP Advisory Council Application. We will notify you when a position becomes available.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.