Hunger doesn’t take a summer break. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), known in Washington, DC as the DC Free Summer Meals Program (FSMP), provides reimbursement for free nutritious meals and snacks served to children 18 and younger. These meals help children in low-income areas get the nutrition they need to learn, play, and grow throughout the summer months when they are out of school.
When school is out, the meals served as a part of the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program are not available, and due to families’ limited budgets, or other circumstances, children will often miss wholesome meals. The FSMP fills this gap and parents benefit from some help in stretching their food dollars and by knowing that their children are receiving healthy meals in a supportive environment.
The DC Free Summer Meals Program has served over 1 million meals to children and youth in the District of Columbia in the past three summers. Sponsoring organizations included:
- Public or private local education agencies;
- Entities of state, local, or municipal government;
- Residential camps; and
- Private non-profit organizations with 501 (c) (3) status.