Department of Education Seeks to Expand the Summer Meals Program

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is looking for schools and qualified community organizations to participate in the 2018 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Organizations may also consider partnering with an existing sponsor such as a school corporation to open a meal service site in areas where children may lack good nutrition during the summer months. Rural areas are especially in need of coverage. In 2017, more than 270 Indiana sponsors served greater than three million meals and snacks at over 1400 feeding sites. IDOE encourages current SFSP sponsors to expand their existing programs and extend meal service throughout the summer break to help eliminate childhood hunger.

“The Summer Food Service Program is an important initiative that ensures our children stay healthy and full when school is not in session,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “I encourage schools and community organizations to partner and participate. With your help, we can make a big difference in all of our Indiana communities.”

The Summer Food Service Program reimburses local sponsors that serve healthy free meals and snacks to children 18 years and younger in low-income areas of the state. Sponsorship is open to public and private nonprofit groups, including local governments, religious organizations, summer camps, recreation centers, and others. In addition to providing free meal service in a local community, many sponsors offer additional educational or physical activities and may partner with other organizations to do so.

The application deadline for potential SFSP sponsors is April 30. All sponsors receive training on how to plan, operate, and monitor a successful program. Attendance is required for all new sponsors. For more information on becoming a sponsor or to sign up for the training workshop, visit the Department’s website at:

Since its inception more than 40 years ago, SFSP has been funded and operated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by states. Participating organizations are reimbursed for meals served and must adhere to USDA regulations regarding meal service and record keeping.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992.

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