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Summer - How to Do Offer Versus Serve

Resource type
Technical Assistance & Guidance

OVS allows children to decline some of the foods offered in a reimbursable breakfast, lunch, or supper. By offering food choices children are more likely to eat the food items they prefer rather than throw the food away. OVS is an option for sponsors, not a requirement. All Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sites, regardless of location or type of sponsorship, may choose to use OVS.

SFSP school sponsors that decide to use the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) meal patterns and Seamless Summer Option sponsors must follow the OVS requirements for NSLP and SBP. All non-school sponsors and schools electing to follow the SFSP meal pattern that choose to use OVS must follow the requirements outlined below for the meal to be reimbursable. These requirements ensure that children are receiving enough food to meet their nutritional needs. Offering different food items supports and encourages the practice of offering a variety of food choices for children and increases the likelihood that children will select foods they prefer and reduce waste.

Page updated: March 01, 2023