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Seamless Summer and Other Options for Schools

Children need good nutrition, all year long. The Summer Food Service Program, National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs, and the Seamless Summer Option make it possible for schools to provide nutritious meals, after the regular school year ends.

Seamless Summer Option

Schools participating in the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Program are eligible to apply for the Seamless Summer Option.

Seamless Summer has less paperwork, making it easier for schools to feed children during the traditional summer vacation periods and, for year-round schools, long school vacation periods.

Once approved by the State agency, the school serves meals free of charge to children, including teenagers through age 18, under the school meal program rules.

Meals are reimbursed at the free rates for school lunches, school breakfasts, and afterschool snacks, which are slightly lower than the Summer Food Service Program rates.

Summer Food Service Program

SFSP is ideal if you sponsor enrichment, recreational, or activity programs over the summer. The State agency reimburses sponsors for free meals served to children, including teenagers through age 18, at approved meal sites in low-income areas.

Simplified rules allow sponsors to earn the maximum rates of reimbursement for the meals served and use the money as needed to enhance the food program for children.

School Lunch and Breakfast

The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs are available for any school that is hosting an academic summer school.

Academic summer schools that intend to serve meals only to enrolled students follow the same rules and claiming procedures for free, reduced-price, and paid meals that they follow during the regular school year.

The Right Option for Your School

Which program will be the best option for serving meals to children in your community? To help you decide, we have created a chart to show how SFSP, traditional school meals, and the Seamless Summer Option compare.

Page updated: November 13, 2023