Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

The Summer Food Service Program was established by Congress in 1968 to ensure that during school vacation, needy children 18 years or younger could receive the same high quality meals provided during the school year by the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) administers the SFSP under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The SFSP can begin when school closes in the spring and continue until school opens for the fall term. Special provisions may be made for areas where schools operate on year-round schedules.

The annual deadline date for submitting applications from new sponsors is 45 days prior to the proposed beginning of meal service, and no later than May 1st. The application will be available online by February 1st.

You may request access to the application by emailing

For more information regarding the TN 2016 SFSP, please contact us at:
615-313-4749 (main line) (main email address)

ATTENTION: To find a meal site near you, visit the USDA website or search SFSP sites may have also been announced in your local paper.


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


SPONSORS school authorities; residential summer camps; municipal, county, or state governments; and private nonprofit organizations (including churches). Sponsors must develop a summer food service for children similar to school nutrition programs. 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 FEEDING 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.
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.

Application Information

 Please be sure to contact us at to ensure that you are on the mailing list to receive all of the latest SFSP Updates!

The annual deadline date for submitting applications from new sponsors is 30 days prior to the proposed beginning of meal service, and no later than June 15.

In accordance with CFR 225.6, The State agency must require that all applicant sponsors submit written applications for Program participation to the State agency by June 15.

Within 30 days of receiving a complete and correct application, the State agency shall notify the applicant of its approval or disapproval. If an incomplete application is received, the State agency shall so notify the applicant within 15 days and shall provide technical assistance for the purpose of completing the application. Any disapproved applicant shall be notified of its right to appeal under §225.13.

The Summer Food Service Program is an equal opportunity program. If you believe you or anyone has been discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, write immediately to: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, S. W., Washington, D.C., 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD).

For more information, contact SFSP personnel at (615) 313-4749

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form - English, (AD-3027) USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form - Spanish 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. Submit your completed form or letter 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;

(2)   fax:  (202) 690-7442; or

(3)   email:

Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339; or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish).

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Monitoring Information
The DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) is responsible for addressing the occurrence of fraud, waste, and abuse with the various programs that DHS administers, including SFSP. OIG conducts monitoring reviews of food program sponsors and feeding sites as a part of program integrity and compliance with Federal and State regulations.
Click here to review additional monitoring information related to SFSP
All experienced and prospective sponsors must attend the yearly training that is held in each of the three regions across the state.

SFSP Daily Meal Count Review Training

SFSP Daily Meal Count Review Training – Supplement

SFSP Site Supervisor Training

SFSP Site Supervisor Training - Supplement

SFSP Training Schedule 2017

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 1

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 1 – Supplement

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 2

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 2 – Supplement

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 3

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 3 – Supplement

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 4

SFSP Sponsor Training Part 4 – Supplement




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.


Grant Opportunities

Assessing Costs in the SFSP

Appeal Process

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Child Nutrition Program Conference Calls

Claim Form

Legislative District Map

Policy Memos

SFSP Allowable Costs and Needed Documentation

Tennessee Food Programs   Tennessee Information Payment System (TIPS)

Tennessee Food Programs Compatibility Fix

Federal Guides for SFSP
SFSP 2016 Administrative Guidance for Sponsors
SFSP 2016 Nutrition Guidance for Sponsors
SFSP 2016 Monitor’s Guide
SFSP 2016 Site Supervisors Guide
SFSP 2016 Site Supervisors Guide - Spanish

Summer Meals for Kids & Teens flyer

Summer Food Service Program brochure


Policy Memos
Duration of Income Eligibility Determinations Guidance

USDA SFSP Policy Memos

Summer Food Service Program Questions and Answers 2014


HS-3071- Claim Form Summer Food Service Program

Summer Food Service Program Income Excess Funds

Contact Information:

Community and Social Services
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
TN Department of Human Services
Citizens Plaza Building - 8th floor
400 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243