Rural Development Multi-Family Housing Communities
USDA Rural Development (RD) and USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) are partnering to provide children in rural America with nutritious meals during the summer months. RD Multi-Family Housing communities can work with local sponsoring organizations to serve meals to children 18 years old and under, free of charge, through SFSP, which is administered by FNS. More than 180 multi-family housing communities were SFSP host sites in 2015. RD and FNS have a goal to increase the number of Multi-Family Housing communities participating in the program by 50%! Learn how to help us reach this goal by reading the information, below.
How Does This Program Work?
Purpose: To serve free, healthy meals to low-income children and teens during summer months when school is out.
Where: Any safe place for kids can be a summer meal site, such as public spaces in Multi-Family Housing communities.
Who: Multi-family communities and other summer meal sites receive meals from local sponsoring organizations (e.g., Boys and Girls Clubs, local school districts). Sponsors prepare (or order) the food, deliver it to the site, and are reimbursed by USDA for the costs.
Eligibility: A Multi-Family Housing community and other public sites are eligible if it is in a school attendance area where 50% or more children qualify for free and reduced-priced school meals. If the site is not open to the public (e.g., a summer camp), 50% or more of the enrolled students must qualify for free and reduced-priced school meals.
How Can My Community Become a Site or Sponsor?
Contact the state agency that operates the program for your state. They will provide information about the eligibility of your area and local sponsors that serve meals to sites.
We encourage you to learn if sites are already nearby before starting one in your community. through community outreach and promotion of the program, you can increase the number of children participating in sites that already exist.
See if there are meal sites near your community last year by exploring USDA's Summer Site Finder. It will be updated throughout the summer.
Learn which other Multi-Family Housing communities are participating in the USDA Summer Meals Program by calling your sstate USDA Rural Development Office.
Tips to Being a Successful Housing Site
How Can I Learn More?
USDA Summer Meals Toolkit: Learn about tips for getting the word out through community planning and outreach, success stories, and more.
Summer Food, Summer Moves: Explore fun games that children can play at sites.
Local Foods in the Summer Food Service Program: Partner with farmers to incorporate tasty, local foods at your site.
Watch our Webinars:
- Engaging Rural and Housing Communities
- Summer Meals Short Videos
- How Can You Solve Your Summer Food Transportation Challenges?
- How Housing Communities Can Feed Summer Meals to Children
Community Outreach and Promotion
Share the Summer Meal Site Finder with your community. It will be updated throughout the summer.
Text FOOD (for English) or COMIDA (for Spanish) to 877-877 to find a meal site near you during the summer.
Promote the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE. The Hotline provides information about summer meal sites and other food assistance programs.
What Do Property Managers and Kids Think About the Program?
"I like the summer meals program because it offers a great opportunity for the community to come together as one and enjoy each other's company." - Teenager, Laurel Woods Apartments, Ashland, VA
"The Summer Meals Program was a great benefit to our tenants and their children. A lot of these children wouldn't have gotten a meal with their parents working." - Property Manager, Alamosa Farm Labor Housing, Alamosa, CO
"It is important to have the support of executive staff in order to make this program a success." - Residents Relations Manager, Broward County Housing Authority, Broward Co., FL