FAQ: Summer Meals Programs in 2021
Published: Apr 06, 2021
Research by No Kid Hungry and others found that summer meals programs can help mitigate summer learning loss, increase high school graduation rates, and reduce susceptibility to chronic disease in the long-term. We’re here to help ensure your students have access to healthy meals no matter where their summer learning takes place.
How will summer learning be different this year?
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) has earmarked more
than $1.2 billion for summer learning and enrichment programs. This means schools will be able to leverage new relief funds to develop high-quality summer programs for more students in need than in the past.
What steps should I take now to ensure successful setup of a summer meals program (SSO or SFSP) to support summer learning?
- Currently operating a summer meals program: Contact your state agency as soon as possible for steps needed to update your application for this summer.
- Haven’t operated a summer meals program before: Start the application process with your state agency. Do not wait to apply; state agencies require that the application be completed well in advance of first day of meal service.
Is the cost different for summer meals?
Meals for children 18 years and younger are fully reimbursable under SSO and SFSP. SSO meals will be reimbursed at the higher SFSP rates starting on July 1, 2021.
Are all kids in my community eligible to receive free summer meals from my program? Or just the students who enroll in the program?
It depends on whether your feeding sites are set up as
open or closed sites with the state agency. We recommend you apply for open site status for all feeding sites to maximize meal participation, operational flexibility, community health impact and reimbursement amount.
How many meals can I offer for each kid every week? What types of meals can I offer?
The latest USDA waivers for summer meals programs are in effect through September 30, 2021. They allow:
• Up to 7 days of meals, including weekend
meals, to be served or picked up
• Maximum of 2 meals per child claimed per day
• Meals can be consumed either onsite or at home
• Parents or guardians can pick up meals without the child being present
How are USDA’s regulations for summer feeding this year different from the past?
Summer feeding for this year has the same flexibilities as Summer 2020 and SY2020-2021. Contact your state agency as soon as possible to serve meals this summer.
Contact us today for support on summer feeding!