Everybody Wins with Summer Food!
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was instituted to provide nutritious meals to children during the summer months when school is not in session. The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).
Sponsoring organizations include:
- Public or private non-profit local education agencies;
- Entitles of state, local, municipal, or county government;
- Residential camps; and
- Private nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) status.
An alternative to the SFSP for providing meals to your children in the summer months is the Seamless Summer Option, formerly Seamless Summer Waiver. This program is available to local education agencies that already participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP). Some school food service authorities feel the Seamless Summer Option better meets their needs and requires less paperwork and monitoring requirements than the SFSP. For more information visit the
Seamless Summer Option page. Please remember that schools who offer academic summer school only will not be able to participate in either program unless they open their doors to the community; otherwise, the schools must extend their NSLP/SBP to include these months.
The new sponsor application period is now open. Visit the New Sponsors tab below for program information. New Sponsors must attend a full-day sponsor training; dates and locations of the workshops are posted on the
Workshop Information page.
UPDATE: These waivers have been approved by the USDA.
On Oct. 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued Memo SFSP 01-2019. In response to this memo, ISBE is requesting that the USDA approve the following state-requested waivers:
- 1st Week Site Review Waiver: To allow sponsors to request that the state waive the first week site review for their sites.
- 1st Week Site Review Waiver for School Food Authorities (SFA): To allow SFA sponsors in good standing to request that the state waive the first week site reviews.
- Closed Enrolled Site Waiver: To allow sponsors to utilize area eligibility at these sites, if applicable.
- Meal Time Restrictions Waiver: To allow sponsors to have meal time flexibility, but still require 30 minutes between meal services.
- Offer vs. Serve Waiver: To allow any sponsor to request the use of Offer vs. Serve and to allow the sponsor to utilize the SFSP meal pattern for Offer vs. Serve.
As a result of these waivers, the application and approval process for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors will be expedited and unnecessary administrative burden along with excessive paperwork will be eliminated for the state agency and sponsor. Information regarding the approval or denial of these waiver requests will be posted here and will be provided to all sponsors via email once the USDA makes the determination.