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Sponsor a Summer Food Service Program
South Dakota Ag Connection - 01/17/2022

The South Dakota Department of Education's division of Child and Adult Nutrition Services is seeking local sponsors to assist with running a federally funded program that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months.

Community organizations, nonprofits, schools, and tribal and local governments can apply to be sponsors if they operate in low-income areas, serve a group of mostly low-income children, or operate a summer camp with a high proportion of low-income participants. Parks and recreation departments, city and county health departments, libraries, and neighborhood service agencies can also participate as sites or sponsors.

Many South Dakota children receive free and reduced-price meals through the School Breakfast and National School Lunch Programs, but these programs are not available during the summer months, when school is not in session. To fill this gap, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides federally funded meals through the Summer Food Service Program. This program provides free, nutritious summer meals to children at approved sites in areas with high concentrations of low-income children.

"We are looking for summer meal champions to make a real difference in children's lives," said Brigitta Bly, program specialist with South Dakota's Child and Adult Nutrition Services. "Local organizations play a critical role in their communities because they have a clear understanding of the unique needs in their area."

Organizations interested in reviewing sponsor responsibilities and that would like to serve meals during summer 2022 are invited to use the SFSP pre-screen tool at Please complete this questionnaire by Feb. 23. Once eligibility is determined, department staff will contact sponsors with more information.

To learn more about serving as a sponsor or site, call Child and Adult Nutrition Services at 605-773-3413. For more information, go to

The Summer Food Service Program is available at no charge for children ages 0-18 and to persons with disabilities over age 18, who participate in school programs for people who are mentally or physically disabled.

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