Become A Summer Meals Contracting Entity

Returning Contracting Entities (CEs) and New Applicants

The Texas Department of Agriculture partners with organizations across Texas to offer summer meals to children as part of the Summer Food Service Program.

Organizations join with TDA as contracting entities (CEs) to serve meals at sites in designated areas. All meal sites must be sponsored by CEs that have a contract with TDA. Approved CEs, operating in accordance with federal and state regulations, will be reimbursed for meals served to children.

A sponsor (referred to as a Contracting Entity or “CE”) contracts directly with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) for overall management of operations at one or more sites (also called “meal sites”).

An organization is eligible to apply to be a CE if it is a governmental entity, a public or private nonprofit school, a public or private nonprofit residential camp, or a private nonprofit organization

Private nonprofit organizations must have Federal tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. Although churches must be tax-exempt, they are not required to provide documentation of their tax-exempt status.

How to Apply to be a SFSP CE

SFSP Application Timeframe and Deadlines

January 15: Access to SFSP application packet opens in TX-UNPS. 

March 15: Deadline for CEs requesting an advance payment.

April 15: Deadline for new applicants, or renewing CEs in need of a more thorough review*
May 1: Deadline for renewing CEs.

*Renewing CEs in need of a more thorough review are those with a deferred serious deficiency in: 

• the previous CACFP and/or SFSP program year, and/or 

• the current CACFP program year. 

Recommended SFSP Application Timeframes For Additional Requests
At least 60 days prior to start of SFSP operations, a CE should submit: 
  • A request for a rural designation of a SFSP site located in a Metropolitan statistical area
At least 90 days prior to start of SFSP operations, a CE should submit: 
  • A request for a waiver of SFSP requirements.
TDA will notify CEs about the approval or denial of these requests. See the TDA SFSP Supplemental Handbook for information on how to submit these requests.

There is no cost to apply to serve as a contracting entity in SFSP.

Entities that offer paid consulting services to applicants and operators of the SFSP are not representatives of TDA, employees of, nor contracted by TDA to provide such services. Consulting services may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assistance with the SFSP application process,
  • Support with program implementation, and
  • Strategizing program growth

TDA does not endorse, recommend, or favor any entity or consultant offering such services. CEs that utilize consulting services must retain final administrative and financial responsibility for management of a proper, efficient and effective summer food service operation. CEs are responsible for complying with all federal and state regulations and must maintain oversight of the Program at all times while applying and participating in the SFSP.  

TDA and its regional Education Services Centers (ESCs) provide technical assistance, free of charge, to all applicants and returning CEs. Click here to find out which ESC supports your area.

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SFSP Application Packet  Maximize 

Submitting Documentation to TDA  Maximize 

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help. Additional translations services available as well.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

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