(FRANKFORT, KY) – Many Kentucky families depend on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. When school is out for the summer, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Kentucky Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps ensure that children continue to receive nutritious meals to bridge the nutrition gap during these months.

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) encourages schools and nonprofit organizations to sponsor the SFSP and provide free meals to Kentucky children and teens in low-income areas. Meal sites are often located in public areas including schools, community centers, parks, family housing complexes and locations operated by faith-based organizations. 

In 2019, 174 sponsors served nearly 3.3 million meals to children age 18 and younger at more than 2, 900 meal sites in Kentucky, but the need is still great. For every seven free or reduced-price lunches served during the school year, only one lunch is served in a summer month.

Sponsoring organizations must be one of the following:

  • A public or nonprofit private school food authority (including school districts);
  • A public or nonprofit private residential summer camp;
  • A unit of a local, municipal, county or state government;
  • A public or nonprofit private college or university; or
  • Other private nonprofit organization.

Those interested in becoming a new sponsor or a SFSP site under the administration of an existing sponsor should visit the Summer Food Service Program webpage on the KDE website.

Training will be provided to new sponsors at no cost.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider. Visit the USDA website to view USDA’s nondiscrimination statement.