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Summer Food for Children Demonstrations

On Dec. 23, 2022, Congress authorized Summer EBT as a permanent program. FNS is working with states and local partners to implement this new program. Visit our Summer EBT webpage to learn more.

In the 2010 Agriculture Appropriations Act (PL 111-80), Congress authorized demonstration projects to develop and test methods of providing access to food for low-income children in urban and rural areas during the summer months when schools are not in regular session, as well as rigorous independent evaluations of each projects’ effectiveness.

The Food and Nutrition Service launched the first of these projects, collectively known as the Summer Food for Children Demonstrations (SFC), in the summer of 2010. Over the years, these demonstration projects have tested multiple approaches to addressing summer food insecurity among children in a variety of settings, and continue to test innovative concepts for summer feeding.


Summer Electronic Benefits for Children (Summer EBT)


Through Summer EBT, participating States and Tribes provide the families of low-income children with food benefits on debit cards, giving them more resources to use at retail food stores during the summer. Summer EBT is designed to complement traditional summer meal programs by providing States with an additional tool to serve communities that have limited or no access to traditional summer meal programs.

For more information about Summer EBT, please visit the Summer EBT webpage.




The Meals-To-You Demonstration Project provides nutrition during the summer months to children who may otherwise be unable to access existing Summer Food Service Program sites. Families with students who are eligible for free- or reduced-price meals opt-in to be mailed one box per child per week during the summer. Each box contains components for 15 meals: five breakfasts, five lunches/suppers, and five snacks.


Demonstration Project for Non-Congregate Feeding for Outdoor Summer Meal Sites Experiencing Excessive Heat


The Demonstration Project for Non-Congregate Feeding for Outdoor Summer Meal Sites Experiencing Excessive Heat allows summer meal programs operating approved outdoor meal service without temperature-controlled alternative sites to operate as non-congregate sites on days when the area is experiencing excessive heat. Non-congregate meal service is permitted only on days when the National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory, an Excessive Heat Warning, or an Excessive Heat Watch for the area in which an approved outdoor meal site is located.


Enhanced Summer Food Service Program (eSFSP)


The eSFSP demonstration projects tested multiple methods of improving service delivery through the existing summer meal programs. Demonstrations encouraged sites to operate for a greater portion of the summer, supported recreational or enrichment activities at the sites, delivered meals to eligible children in rural areas, and provided take home backpacks of food to cover the days that SFSP meals were not available.

Documents related to eSFSP:


Documents Related to all SFC Demonstrations

Send questions about the Summer Demonstrations to

Page updated: January 10, 2024