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Local Foods and Related Activities in Summer Meal Programs, with Q&As

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (263.39 KB)
DATE: November 12, 2015
SUBJECT: Local Foods and Related Activities in Summer Meal Programs, with Questions and Answers
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

The purpose of this memorandum and attached questions and answers is to provide guidance on the incorporation of local foods and nutrition and agriculture-based activities in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), collectively referred to as summer meal programs.

Local foods can play an important role in creating and promoting a healthy environment for children. A growing body of research demonstrates several positive impacts of serving local foods and providing food education through child nutrition programs, including increased participation and engagement in meal programs, consumption of healthier options, and support of local economies. There is also a well-established public interest in supporting local and regional food systems, and a growing interest in aligning local foods sources with summer meal programs. Program sponsors, administrators, and partners are therefore encouraged to use local foods as a means to enhance summer meal operations.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this information to program operators immediately. Program operators should direct any questions regarding this memorandum to the appropriate state agency. State agency contact information is available at State agencies should direct questions to the appropriate FNS regional office.

Angela Kline
Policy and Program Development Division
Child Nutrition Programs
Deborah Kane
Office of Community Food Systems
Child Nutrition Programs


Page updated: April 07, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.