- In Texas, more than 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger.
- When the school year ends, children often lose access to consistent, nutritious school meals.
- The Summer Meals Program ensures more Texas children have enough food for an active, healthy life.
The Summer Meals Program provides meals at no cost to children and teens 18 years old and younger in low-income areas.
Participating families do not have to apply register or provide identification. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the Summer Meals Program – including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO). The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) administers the Summer Meals Program in Texas.
Two Ways Local Organizations Can Participate in the Summer Meals Program:
- Contracting entities (CEs) enter into a contract with TDA to operate the Summer Meals Program. CEs are also called sponsors. CEs may manage one or more sites.
- Community organizations serve meals at sites under the direction of a CE. The meal sites are in safe and supervised locations.
How to Support Summer Meals in Texas
1. Promote Summer Meals in your Community
- Use TDA resources to increase awareness of the Summer Meals Program in your community. TDA offers a variety of downloadable outreach materials, including social media images, web banners, posters and more at SummerFood.org/OutreachTools.
- Contact TDA: (877) TEX-MEAL
2. Host a Summer Meal Site
- Organizations partner with a CE to serve meals in a group setting at schools, parks, community centers, health clinics, hospitals, apartment complexes, churches or migrant centers.
- The CE provides the meals to the site operator and ensures all financial and administrative responsibilities are met. Site supervisors receive training from the CE. The CE may require the site operator to sign an agreement that outlines the site’s responsibilities.
- Next Step to Become a Site Operator: Visit this website to locate and contact your regional education service center (ESC) for more information. The ESCs can give you information about the CEs that manage summer meal sites in your region.
3. Become a Summer Meals Contracting Entity
- A CE contracts directly with TDA to operate one or more approved meal sites. CEs exercise administrative oversight for meal sites and must conduct a nonprofit food service. 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.
- Recommendation for prospective CEs: TDA recommends organizations operate as a meal site under an experienced CE for at least a year before applying to become a CE. This has been shown to provide a foundation for long-term success as a program operator.
- Next Step to Become a Contracting Entity: Visit this website to locate and contact your regional ESC for more information.