SFSP Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who can be a sponsor?
A: Sponsors must be organizations that are fully capable of managing a food service program. To be a sponsor, you must follow regulations and be financially and administratively responsible for running your program.
The following types of organizations can be sponsors:
- Public or private nonprofit schools
- Units of local, municipal, county, tribal, or State government
- Private nonprofit organizations
- Public or private nonprofit camps
- Public or private nonprofit universities or colleges
Q: How do I become a sponsor?
A: If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, or donít know of a sponsor in your area, contact the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) School and Community Nutrition Programs Branch at (410) 767-0214.
Sponsors are organizations that manage Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) feeding sites. As a sponsor, you will:
- Attend MSDE training
- Locate and recruit eligible sites
- Hire, train, and supervise staff and volunteers
- Arrange for meals to be prepared or delivered
- Monitor your sites
- Prepare claims for reimbursement
- Ensure that your Summer Food project and sites are sustainable through community partnerships, fundraising, and volunteer recruitment
Q: What is a site?
A: A site is the physical location where Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meals are served during a supervised time. The USDA classifies and approves SFSP meal sites as open, closed enrolled, camp, migrant, or National Youth Sports Program (NYSP).
Open: Sites that operate in low-income areas and serve free meals to any child at the site on a first-come, first-serve basis. At least 50 percent of children residing in the area must be eligible for free and reduced-price school meals, based on local school or census date, in order for an area to qualify as an open site.
Closed enrolled: Sites that are established for a specific group of children who are either registered in an organized activity program or children who do not reside in an eligible low-income area. Closed sites become eligible for SFSP if at least half o the children qualify for free and reduced-price meals. Because the site is not open to the entire community, meals are only served free to enrolled children.
Camps: Sites with registered residential or day campers that receive regularly scheduled food service along with organized activities. Camps receive reimbursement for meals served to enrolled children who qualify for free and reduced-price meals.
Migrant: Sites that primarily serve children of migrant workers. A migrant site qualifies by providing appropriate certification from a migrant organization.
NYSP: Sites include a college or university participating in the National Youth Sports Program. Children must be registered in the NYSP to participate.
Q: Who can become a site?
A: Meal service sites may be located at various safe, supervised settings; Including schools, recreation centers, playgrounds, parks, churches, community centers, day camps, residential summer camps, housing projects, migrant centers, and on Indian reservations.
Some organizations do not have the financial and administrative ability to run the program, but they can supervise food service for children at a site along with recreational or enrichment activities.
If you supervise a site, you will:
- Attend your sponsorís training
- Provide site supervision
- Distribute meals
- Keep daily records of meals served
- Store foods appropriately
- Keep the site clean and sanitary
Q: How can I find a site in my community?
A: To find a meal service site in your area visit nokidhungrymd.org or call 1-877-731-9300 for site locations. You may also contact organizations in your community offering an activity program for children; such as local schools, community centers, recreation centers, and faith-based organizations. If you are still unable to find a site in your area, please call MSDE and ask for the location of a meal service site in your community.
Q: How can I get a meal service site in my area?
A: If there are no meal service sites in your area, you can mobilize your community to sponsor the program. For the program to be sponsored, a school, nonprofit organization, or local government agency must be the program sponsor and maintain responsibility for administering the program.
To begin mobilizing in your community, contact the following people and groups. Tell them there is an interest in the community to feed children in the summer.
- School principal
- Parent Teachers Association
- The School Food Service Manager
- School Officials, School Board, Superintendent of Schools
- Mayorís Office
- Recreation and Parks Office
- County and Municipal Elected Officials
Q: What else can I do to help?
A: Volunteer! Our best SFSP sites have organized well-run activities that keep children and teens interested and coming back to the site day after day. Any creative ideas are welcome, but some activities may include arts and crafts, tutoring, mentoring, drama, sports, computer training, music, gardening, reading programs, cooking, and more. Many sites have enlisted local fire and police departments, local celebrities, local businesses, and local political figures to make presentations to their SFSP sites. The only limitation is your imagination.