COMMISSIONER MILLER ENCOURAGES ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS TO APPLY FOR SPONSORSHIP OF SUMMER NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN 2024 > Texas Department of Agriculture Website > News & Events
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COMMISSIONER MILLER ENCOURAGES ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS TO APPLY FOR SPONSORSHIP OF SUMMER NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN 2024 (1/23/2024)

AUSTIN — Today, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) is accepting applications for its 2024 Summer Meal Programs. These programs connect eligible agencies and organizations with federal funds to provide healthy meals for Texas children who may not always have access to good nutrition when school cafeterias are closed for summer.

“Sponsoring the Summer Meal Programs demonstrates an organization’s commitment to ensuring the children in their communities continue to thrive,” Commissioner Miller said. “When school cafeterias close for the summer break, many Texas children look to the Summer Meal Programs for good nutrition. In partnership with TDA, these sponsors provide the healthy meals kids need for an active summer that will help them succeed when they return to school for the new academic year.”

TDA works to address childhood hunger during the summer by partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer two federally funded Summer Meal Programs. The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides schools, nonprofit summer camps, governmental entities, and other nonprofit organizations with the opportunity to serve meals to children across Texas. Schools have the option of participating in the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or SFSP, allowing them to continue meal service after the academic year ends.

TDA is seeking to partner with sponsoring organizations to serve meals across the state in areas of need, including rural areas, areas with a concentration of migrant workers, and areas where more than 50 percent of children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the National School Lunch Program. In 2024, TDA aims to reach children in rural areas who haven’t previously participated in Summer Meal Programs due to transportation barriers by allowing eligible sponsors in those areas to apply to distribute nutritious meals outside of the typically required group settings and meal service times.

Meals will be provided to individuals aged 18 and under without charge. Adults over the age of 18 are eligible for summer meals if they are determined by a state educational agency or local public educational agency to have a mental or physical disability and who participate in a public or nonprofit private school program established for people with mental or physical disabilities.

All meal sites must be sponsored by an organization that has a contract with TDA and has taken TDA-provided training. Approved SSO and SFSP sponsors, operating in accordance with federal and state regulations, will be reimbursed for meals served to children. Some applications may require additional review, and sponsors are encouraged to visit SquareMeals.org to determine if their organization falls into this category. The SFSP application deadline for new sponsors and those requiring more thorough review is April 15, 2024. All other returning SFSP sponsors must apply by May 1, 2024. The deadline for all SSO applications is May 31, 2024. TDA will provide guidance to sponsors currently operating and those that plan to apply to operate one of the summer nutrition programs as soon as more information is available.

For more information about TDA’s Summer Meal Programs, please visit  www.SquareMeals.org.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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