The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) Child Nutrition Programs announced the availability of Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) funding. Funds are available, and sponsors are needed to provide meals for children at summer food program sites. The state is specifically seeking sponsors to serve meals in rural areas and areas with a concentration of migrant farm workers. Vermont’s ability to provide these meals depends on local partners willing to serve as sponsors for this program in their communities.
This program, also known as Summer Meals, is federally funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by AOE Child Nutrition Programs. This program bridges the gap between school years, giving children ages 18 and under the fuel they need to play and grow throughout the summer months and return to school ready to learn. While much of the funding related to the COVID-19 pandemic has ended, or will end soon, this program is permanent.
“We want to maximize this important federal program.” said Interim Secretary of Education Heather Bouchey. “The Summer Food Service Program ensures children continue to have equitable access to nutritious meals during the summer months.”
Sponsors can be supervisory unions or school districts, private non-profit organizations, government entities, and non-profit residential camps. The Agency enters into agreements with sponsors to provide meals to children at their sites. Sponsors are reimbursed on a per meal basis for meals served to children. Sites, the location where meals are served, can be schools, parks, housing complexes, and libraries. Sponsors often have more than one site. Non-profit organizations and local governments interested in offering meals are encouraged to inquire even if they are unable to prepare the meals themselves.
The AOE can facilitate partnerships between school districts that are already set up to prepare summer meals, and non-profit organizations and local governments interested operating summer meal sites. Interested organizations should contact Jamie Curley.
There are several different types of sites under the program. “Open” sites are where any child, 18 and under, can eat a meal, no questions asked. Closed-enrolled sites serve meals to a set population of children. To ensure programs do not limit access for children in the area where the site is located, closed enrolled sites are required to explain the reason they are operating as closed enrolled. Open and closed-enrolled sites may serve up to two meals or snacks each day. A recent federal rule change allows open and area-eligible closed-enrolled sites in rural areas with no congregate meal service available to provide non-congregate meals in the form of grab and go or delivery. Camp sites may provide three meals or snacks a day and must use individual child data to determine eligibility. Children who are members of households that receive 3SquaresVT or Reach Up benefits or meet the income eligibility guidelines are automatically eligible to receive free meals at camp sites.
For more information, please refer to the SFSP New Sponsor Overview or contact the Vermont Agency of Education at (802)-828-2010.
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.
To file a program discrimination complaint, a complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:
1. mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
3. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
About the Vermont Agency of Education
The Agency of Education implements state and federal laws, policies, and regulations to ensure all Vermont learners have equitable access to high-quality learning opportunities. The Agency accomplishes this mission through the provision of its leadership, support, and oversight of Vermont’s public education system.
Connect with the Vermont Agency of Education education.vermont.gov.