Summer Food Service Program Sponsor Application Period Open for 2022

Tennessee is seeking program sponsors to support their communities by feeding children.
Monday, January 31, 2022 | 10:46am

NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is providing another resource to help communities with the launch of this year’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The goal of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is to ensure children 18 and younger, who benefit from meal programs at school, continue to have that same access to nutritious meals when school is out for the summer.

Each year TDHS partners with sponsors across the state to provide these meals. The program traditionally runs from the end of May to August when the next school semester begins. Since 2020, the program and sponsors have been innovative and a constant presence in reaching children despite the challenges of the pandemic. For example, last year sponsors were able to provide “grab and go” meals to children along with meal bags containing more than one day’s worth of food. This option will be available through the end of June 2022. In 2021, through the work of program sponsors and meal sites, more than 6 million meals were provided to children across the state.

“Summer Food Service Program staff, the state and national partners, along with program sponsors have approached the continuation of the program with an unrelenting commitment to providing meals to children across the state,” said TDHS Commissioner Clarence H. Carter.  “There is room for even more impact, and we invite organizations from all regions of the state to join in this important work of feeding vulnerable children during the summer months.”

The Tennessee Department of Human Services, state, and federal partners hope to extend the reach of the Summer Food Service Program in 2022. Organizations, governmental institutions, schools, and religious entities interested in learning more about sponsoring a SFSP food site participated in this year’s virtual Summer Summit held January 27, 2022. A recap of the information shared during the summit and other additional resources can be found here.

The need for SFSP sponsors and meal sites is especially important in rural counties in Tennessee and those designated as distressed. TDHS seeks sponsors willing to serve those counties and additional sponsors for every county in the state to help feed children in their communities.

In addition to children of school age, adults 19 and older with a mental or physical disability participating in a school program established for individuals with disabilities during the prior school year are eligible to receive free meals.

Sponsor applications will be accepted until May 1, 2022. If your organization is interested in becoming a SFSP sponsor or becoming a feeding site under an existing sponsor, please contact TDHS by e-mail at

Parents interested in finding a Summer Food Service Program feeding location near them are encouraged to contact the TDHS Summer Food Service Program main line at 615-313-4749, their local school, or visit Additional information also is available on TDHS’s website.           

In accordance with Tennessee and 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. 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:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.