Local Foods and Related Activities in Summer Meal Programs, with Questions and Answers
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.