Ohio Department of Education
Summer Food Service Program Plans
With the help of numerous sponsoring agencies and stakeholders, the
Summer Food Service Program feeds thousands of children in Ohio. Since
2014, Ohio has increased participation in the program by 10 percent.
Despite these numbers, many Ohio parents and caregivers continue to
make difficult choices every day in order to provide for their
families. In many cases, this leaves Ohio’s most vulnerable citizens,
our children and youth, struggling with hunger daily.
This year, the Ohio Department of Education wants to increase
participation in summer meal programs and is actively seeking local
nonprofit agencies to participate as sponsors or sites by providing
free meals to children.
“The need for healthy meals doesn’t stop when school breaks for the
summer, and the Summer Food Service Program helps provide children with
nourishment to make sure summer can be a time for continued learning
and fun,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction.
“Instead of worrying about where their next meal will come from, our
students can enjoy activities like reading, sports, playing outdoors
and the growing that happens during the summer months.”
Free meals are provided at schools, colleges and universities,
nonprofit organizations, parks, camps, community centers, swimming
pools, libraries, low-income housing complexes and more.
Sponsoring organizations receive reimbursement to cover the costs of
providing nutritious meals and snacks to children in eligible areas.
Nonprofit organizations offering summer activities for children living
in low-income areas also are encouraged to apply.
A sponsoring organization must be:
A public or nonprofit private school;
A public or nonprofit private residential summer camp;
A unit of local, municipal, county or state government;
A public or nonprofit college or university; or
A private nonprofit organization.
The Summer Food Service Program is funded by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture and administered by the Ohio Department of Education.
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education challenge sponsors to
expand the “One More Challenge” in communities around the state.
Sponsors will take on “One More Site,” “One More Meal,” or “One More
Week” to increase the number of meals served this summer.
Expansion of the program is particularly needed in southern Ohio
counties, where families struggle with food insecurity, as well as in
rural communities and areas where migrant families reside.
The Summer Food Service Program ensures that children ages 1-18
continue to receive nutritious meals during the summer break from
school, when they do not have access to school breakfast or lunch.
Children with disabilities and approved individualized education
programs may participate through age 21.
Any organization interested in becoming a sponsor or site should
complete the potential sponsor survey.
Potential sponsors interested in participating in the 2017 program
should complete the survey no later than Friday, March 3.