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DPI seeks Summer Food Service Program sponsors

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Tom McCarthy, DPI Communications Director, (608) 266-3559

MADISON — Wisconsin’s Summer Food Service Program is seeking sponsors to provide meals to economically disadvantaged children during the 2017 summer break from school.

Sponsors can be

  • Public or private nonprofit school food authorities;
  • Public or private nonprofit summer camps;
  • Units of local, municipal, county, tribal, or state governments;
  • Public or private colleges or universities that are currently participating in the National Youth Sports and Precollege Programs; and
  • Private nonprofit organizations (special considerations and restrictions apply).

Last year, Wisconsin’s 217 Summer Food Service Program sponsors provided nearly 2.83 million free meals to children from low‑income families during the summer months. Sponsors operated 888 sites statewide in 2016, up nearly 100 sites over the past two years.

“Wisconsin has been offering meals to disadvantaged youth through the Summer Food Service Program since the federal program began in 1975,” noted State Superintendent Tony Evers. “We’ve seen continued growth over the years as the state’s public and private schools and nonprofit organizations step up their sponsorship and number of nutrition sites so they can serve the many families who need food assistance during the summer.”

The most common sponsor for the Summer Food Service Program has been local school districts that combine a meal program with their summer school sessions. Through partnerships and creative collaboration, some districts have been able to work with other organizations to extend the Summer Food Service Program beyond summer school to meet the needs of more children.

All sponsors for the 2017 program year must complete the online Summer Food Service Program application. New sponsors for the program will be required to attend a training session on March 24 in Madison. Continuing sponsors for the 2017 summer program are encouraged to attend one of the training sessions to be offered around the state. Those sessions will be held on March 3 in Rice Lake and March 17 in Madison. The deadline to register for training is Feb. 24 and must be done online.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by U.S. mail, fax or e-mail to:

Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

Fax: (202) 690-7442


The DPI has administered the Summer Food Service Program since its inception in 1975 and is an equal opportunity provider. Additional information about the program is available from Amy Kolano, (608) 266-7124, the DPI's Summer Food Service Program website, or the USDA  Food and Nutrition Service website.

Official Release