New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher encourages organizations to help in providing nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months through the Department’s Summer Food Service Program.
The Summer Food Program began in 1976 as an outgrowth of the National School Lunch Program. The program is designed to reach those who are age 18 or younger in economically disadvantaged areas. It also is open to people over 18 with disabilities who participate in public or nonprofit private programs.
This federally funded program reimburses participating organizations for meals served to children who live in areas in which at least 50 percent of the children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.
Applicants may include public or private nonprofit school food authorities, units of local, municipal, county or state governments, public or private nonprofit organizations, residential summer camps or national youth sports programs.
Organizations approved to sponsor the Summer Food Service Program are responsible for managing the feeding sites and participating organizations may be reimbursed for up to two meals a day, breakfast, lunch, dinner and or snacks. Meals may also be reimbursed for nights and weekends. Those serving primarily migrant children may be reimbursed for up to three meals a day.
Residential camps may serve up to three meals a day, but are reimbursed only for meals served to children eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.
More than 558,631 children in New Jersey receive free or reduced-price meals in their schools under the National School Lunch Program. In 2019, a total of 135 organizations participated in the Summer Food Service Program serving nutritious meals to more than 1,438 summer meal sites.
In addition to the Summer Food Program, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Food and Nutrition, administers a number of programs devoted to improving the quality of food for New Jersey residents, in particular those most in need, including School Nutrition Programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.
For more information on the Summer Food Service Program or to obtain an application, call 609-292-4498. The deadline for submission of completed applications is March 25, 2020.