Become A Summer Meals Contracting Entity

Returning Contracting Entities (CEs) and New Applicants

Contracting Entities participating in the SFSP must:
  • Demonstrate financial and administrative capability;
  • Not have been declared seriously deficient;
  • Serve low-income children;
  • Conduct a nonprofit food service;
  • Provide year-round service;
  • Exercise administrative oversight at approved meal service site; and
  • Potential applicants may be subject to Financial Viability Review prior to application review process.

If you believe you meet these requirements and would like to apply, complete this form.
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 CEs*, or renewing CEs in need of a more thorough review**
May 3: Deadline for renewing CEs.

*Organizations applying to be new CEs should take into consideration the processing time needed for the intake form and FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users to avoid a missed deadline.

**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.

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 at: How to File a Complaint, 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. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider. Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

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