Tennessee Summer Food Service Program

Food that's in, when school is out!

SFSP begins when the school year ends and runs until school resumes.

child eating apple

Once school is out, the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) begins. The SFSP is a partnership between the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) and community-based organizations to provide free meals to children in their communities throughout the summer. Parents  can find meal sites near them by:

1. Going to https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks to use the Site Finder, or

2. Texting  “Summer Meals” to 97779, or

3. Calling 1-866-348-6479 

***Attention SFSP Sponsor Applicants: SFSP applications must be submitted by May 1. Any application submitted after that date will be declined.***

In Tennessee, 1 in 4 children face hunger every day.

Just as learning does not end when school lets out, neither does a child's need for good nutrition. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow throughout the summer months when they are out of school. 

Of the children in Tennessee who qualify for free and reduced lunch, only a small percentage are being reached by summer programs like the SFSP.

While children are in school, they can take advantage of the school breakfast and lunch program. When summer arrives, a vast majority of the children eligible for this program do not know where their next meal is coming from.

Established by Congress in 1968, the SFSP serves to ensure that during school vacation,  children 18 years or younger of low-income 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) and in concert with community partners, known as Sponsors. The SFSP generally begins when school closes in late spring and continues until school opens for the fall term. Special provisions may be made for areas where schools operate on year-round schedules. 

If you are interested in serving as an SFSP sponsor, site, or volunteer, request access to the online application by emailing TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov. The application will be available online by February 1st. 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.

For more information regarding the  Summer Food Service Program, please contact us at 615-313-4749 (main line) or TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov (main email address)

Join us in helping ensure no Tennessee child goes hungry!

Contact Information:

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
TN Department of Human Services
James K. Polk Building - 15th Floor
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243

Email: TNSFSP.DHS@tn.gov
Phone: (615) 313-4749

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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.

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  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:
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