Summer Food Options For Kids

Kids need good nutrition all year round, not just when they’re in school. That’s why it’s important you know about programs that offer meals during the summertime. Keep reading below to find out more about a popular program that provides nutritious meals after the regular school year ends.

Seamless Summer Option

Schools that are in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program are eligible to be a part of the Seamless Summer Option. With less paperwork involved, the Seamless Summer Option makes it easier for schools to feed kids during summer vacation.

Once a school has approval from their state agency, they are able to serve free meals to children and teenagers through age 18. Meals and snacks are reimbursed at the rates of school breakfast and lunch, which are lower than the Summer Food Service Program rates.

How Seamless Summer Works

School Food Authorities (SFAs) in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program are able to apply for the Seamless Summer Option. Once they are approved by the state agency, the SFAs can serve free meals to children and teenagers up to 18 years old from low-income areas.

Types of Sites

There are a few different sites that are allowed to participate in the Seamless Summer Option:

  • Open sites: All children eat free in communities that have at least 50% of the children eligible for free/reduced-price meals
  • Restricted open sites: Sites that are similar to open sites, but are restricted later for safety or security reasons
  • Closed enrolled sites: Any community for an enrolled group of low-income children that meets the 50% requirement stated above.
  • Migrant sites: For children of migrant families
  • Camps: Residential or non-Residential camps

Other Summer Food Options

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides kids and teens in low-income areas with free meals after the school year ends. Many different local organizations can participate in the SFSP.

Sponsors that are a part of the SFSP work with their state agencies and communicate with the USDA to operate the program. Places like local government agencies, camps, faith-based and other non-profit community groups are able to manage a food service program.

School’s Out, But Meals Stay In

The Seamless Summer Option and Summer Food Service Program ensure that kids get access to healthy meals even when they’re not in school. They also provide great volunteer opportunities for those interested in working with these programs.