Summer Food Service Program

Since 2015, the Health Fund has offered mini-grants of up to $2,000 to Healthy Congregations churches to support Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) start-up or expansion in their communities, in partnership with a USDA/KSDE-approved sponsor, or via approval as a new sponsor.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is increased need in many communities to support local efforts for children to have access to food. During the school year, most of these children will have access to school meals. However, summer can be a crucial time where additional support, locations, and volunteerism can make the difference and help ensure children won’t go hungry.

For the 2021 SFSP season, the Health Fund again seeks to support Healthy Congregations teams, working in coordination with schools and community agencies, to help ensure children continue to have access to nutritious food this summer.

View the webinar recording on the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), changes due to COVID-19, and how Healthy Congregations teams can help. Jill Ladd, Assistant Director of Child Nutrition and Wellness, KS Department of Education, provides updates and answers questions. The slide presentation is available here.

Additional information on COVID-19 related SFSP changes, grant eligibility, and application process is available below.

Applications due:
New Sponsor (USDA/KSDE) – May 1, 2021
Health Fund Grant – May 31, 2021
Application details: see below

Questions: contact Jill Ladd | 785-296-2276

COVID-19 Related SFSP Waivers and Changes (extended through 2022 as of 4/21/2021)

Sites can choose to serve meals in non-congregate settings. This waiver allows for off-site consumption of meals, and serving models like grab-n-go, curbside pick-up, mobile/bus routes and home delivery.

This waiver allows parents and guardians to pick up meals without a child present.

This waiver provides flexibility in serving times and allows for serving multiple meals for the same day at one time.

This waiver allows for SFSP and SSO sponsors to operate sites in areas approved by KSDE based on economic hardship, but that are not located in areas in which poor economic conditions exist.

Mini-grants up to $2,000 can be considered for the following:

• Start-up costs for new programs
• Program Expansions: expanding sites, the number of meals that are served, or the number of months in which meals are served 
• One time resource expenses 
• Project components that will help strengthen the existing site’s work or increase the numbers served: strengthening partnerships / collaboration, providing programs or activities, alleviating transportation barriers, partnering with Kansas Food Bank to provide “Food backpacks” for weekend meals
• Other

Applying for the Summer Food Program Healthy Congregations grant

Eligibility note: this grant *requires* a USDA/KSDE-approved sponsor (view current list here) as part of the project. Churches are encouraged to partner with an existing approved sponsor, or can apply to become an approved sponsor. Note that new sponsor applications are due May 1.  Applications for the Health Fund grant are due May 31.

Application note: this application form is not tied in with your regular Healthy Congregations website login username and password.
To get started, use this link to go to the application form then click the “First Time Applicant” button to set up a login; you can save and return to your application later.
To return to your previously started, saved application, use this link.

This opportunity is open to current Healthy Congregations teams in good standing, or to churches signing up to participate in Healthy Congregations. The simple application form includes information on the process and necessary requirements, and asks for:

1) The eligible United Methodist Church serving as grantee and status of formal Church approval for the project and application for the funding;
2) Contact information for the church including project director for grant;
3) Sponsor of food program, if different than applying UMC (see eligibility note, above); 
4) Current experience with the summer food program;
5) Situation relevant to funding request (start-up, expansion, one-time need, etc.);
6) Numbers served and numbers planned for service;
7) Other participating organizations, groups and individuals in the project;
8) Budget for relevant funding period;
9) For existing programs, budget information for the project; and
10) Any additional information to provide a clear word picture of the proposed work. 

If you have any trouble with the application form, please email Jeff for assistance. Submitted forms will be reviewed by staff; project contacts will be notified with a funding decision or if there are questions. For approved projects, a single report will be required 30 days after project completion.

If you have questions about this grant opportunity, please contact Katie Schoenhoff, Director of Programs:

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