School and Community Nutrition

Get Involved!

Published: 1/4/2019 11:55 AM


Thank you for your interest in helping to feed children in your community! What works best for you? Getting involved can mean serving as a Sponsor, a meal Site, or as a volunteer.

How SFSP Works
SFSP is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). FNS decides overall program policy and publishes regulations and payment rates. State education agencies administer SFSP in most states however other State Agencies may also be assigned to run the program.

The Kentucky Department of Education, Division of School and Community Nutrition (SCN) approves sponsor applications, conducts training of sponsors, monitors SFSP operations, and processes program payments. Sponsors sign agreements with their State Agencies to run the program.

SFSP reimburses approved SPONSORS, including school districts, local government agencies, private nonprofit organizations, public or private nonprofit camps, public or private nonprofit universities or colleges, for serving free meals that meet Federal nutritional guidelines. Sponsors receive payments from USDA, through SCN, based on the number of meals they serve. 

As a meal SITE, you can provide meals at your location. Your meal is under the administration of a (local) sponsor.  You may serve one to two meals daily-breakfast, snack lunch or supper (lunch and supper may not be served at the same sites).

Volunteers can play a very important role in the SFSP. Roles that volunteers may be able to fill include drivers delivering meals, assistance with food preparation or distribution, or engaging in activities at a meal site.

To become an approved sponsor, applicants must

  • Have federal tax exempt status or be a public entity
  • Accept financial and administrative responsibility for the program
  • Document need in areas to be served
  • Hire, train and supervise staff and volunteers
  • Attend training provided by KDE SFSP staff
  • Submit an online application for approval
  • Maintain proper records
  • Cooperate with KDE SFSP monitoring personnel
  • Adhere to USDA regulation and policy

How to Prepare Meals
A sponsor may prepare its own meals, purchase meals through an agreement with an area school, or contract for meals with a food service management company (vendor). If your site has its own kitchen, you may want to prepare meals yourself.  If your kitchen is not on the premises, you may still want to prepare your own meals, and then transport them to the site. Meals that you prepare yourself receive a slightly higher rate of reimbursement.  You would receive “self-prep” rates, whether you prepare the meals from scratch or purchase the components and assemble the meals yourself.

Some government and private nonprofit sponsors lack the kitchen facilities to prepare meals themselves. In that case, you may arrange to purchase meals from a school or another public or private food supplier with approved meal preparation facilities.

Next Step?
Complete your contact information by clicking on the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFSPSponsor

We look forward to hearing from you!


  • Normal Font Size