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District Seeks Applications for Sponsors of the Summer Food Service Program

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Media Contact: Fred Lewis (OSSE) – (202) 412-2167; [email protected]

The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announces the availability of federal funds to assist sponsors and meal sites participating in the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Locally known as DC’s Free Summer Meals Program, the SFSP provides underserved DC youth with no-cost meals during the summer break. The 2020 Free Summer Meals Program application period is Feb. 1 – June 15, 2020. Qualifying organizations may apply to serve as sponsors through June 15.  

The SFSP is designed to provide underserved youth age 18 and younger, who depend on free and reduced-price school breakfast-lunch during the school year, no cost nutritious meals and snacks during the summer months. Our mission is to work diligently and purposefully to increase program utilization, visibility and sustainability, through the strengthening of our partnerships and by continuing to play an integral role in the advancement of DC youth.

The program runs through June, July and August. Meal sites are conveniently located at hundreds of locations across the city. In 2019, 15 sponsors served meals at 302 sites throughout the District of Columbia. The official program dates are June 22 thru Aug. 28. Meal site operation dates, days, and times vary by location. However, beginning in mid-June, participants can call 1-866-3-HUNGRY, or Text “FOOD” to 877-877 to find open meal sites participating in DC’s Free Summer Meals Program. Site information is updated on a weekly basis. Sites established in low-income areas are “open” sites, where any child can receive a meal, no questions asked.

Eligible sponsors, and or sites, must be 501c3 tax exempt organizations, such as public, and private nonprofit community-based organizations, school food authorities, faith-based organizations, housing authorities and units of local and federal government. Public or private nonprofit, day or overnight summer camps may participate as well. A for-profit organization may not apply as a sponsor in the program, but may be eligible to participate as a site. All participants in this program are served meals free of charge and are protected under the federal and the District of Columbia protected classes.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and USDA civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found on USDA's website, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

Mail: US Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410;
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
Email: [email protected]
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

For more information on how you and/or your organization can participate in DC’s Free Summer Meals Program, please visit: http://dcsummermeals.dc.gov and contact:

Shaneka N. King, Nutrition Program Specialist
DC’s Summer Meals Program
OSSE, Division of Health and Wellness
Office: (202) 899-6118 Mobile: (202) 531-1739