Hunger Action
Federal Nutrition Programs

Hunger Action Works to Eliminate Childhood Hunger in Poughkeepsie

When schools close their doors and children begin their summer vacations, over 12 million kids in the USA who qualify for fee or reduced price lunch do not receive this essential meal.  For over two months, most low income children do not have access to nutritious meals like the ones they get during the school year.  This is detrimental to a child’s health and development.  While hunger typically increases in the winter months, there is also a sharp increase during summer months, when so many low income children do not get this meal  Since1968, the Summer Food Service (SFSP) has existed to combat childhood hunger in the summer. 

Hunger Action chose to focus on Poughkeepsie, NY this summer for our outreach efforts.  Last year, over 70 percent of children in Dutchess County participated in the school meals program, whereas less than 8 percent participated in SFSP.  This is below both the state and national averages, 22 and 12 percent respectively.  The main reason identified for low participation is lack of sites and lack of knowledge of the program.  Last year in Poughkeepsie, there were 2 open SFSP sites.  This summer, Hunger Action has helped to increase this number to 5.  This summer, most children in the city of Poughkeepsie will be within walking distance of an open site.  Hunger Action is also working to improve the quality of the program.  We have arranged a deal with the sponsor and a local farmer to bring more local fruits and vegetables into the program. We also are working to provide fun recreational activities for the children at the sites. Last summer, Hunger Action conducted a similar outreach project in western Queens, and during this time the participation in the program doubled.  We hope to see a similar increase in Poughkeepsie.  Please help us promote this project.  You can download outreach material in PDF format, or request a package.  For more information, or to find out how you can help, please contact Veda Myers at 212-741-8192 ex. 2# or vmyers@hungeractionnys.org

SFSP Flyer English – Spanish

SFSP Brochure English

SFSP Brochure Spanish

The Summer Food Service Program

SFSP Public Service Announcement video

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federal Child Nutrition Program that provides free, nutritious meals to all children 18 years of age and younger during the summer months. There are no income or residency requirements for children to participate. All Summer Meals are free! Meals may be served at schools, camps, or community based organization sites. Activities are also offered to children who participate in the program.

Unfortunately, many children in New York State are not participating in this invaluable program. Statistics show that 71% of eligible schoolchildren participate in the School Lunch Program, while only 23.6% participate in the Summer Food Program. As a result, many children in our state do not have access to enough nutritious food during the summer months. There are many reasons that this program is underutilized, including lack of knowledge about the program, lack of access to the program, inadequate funding for the program, and lack of sites. Please encourage the children in your community to participate! To locate a site in your community or for further information, please contact the New York State Growing Up Healthy Hotline toll-free at 1-800-522-5006.

The SFSP is administered at the New York State level through the NYS Department of Education.

Summer Food Service Program Sites & Sponsors
Meals are served at Summer Food Service Program sites, which may be school facilities, camps, community centers, youth and recreation centers, or other community based organization sites, including EFP sites. A site is responsible for maintaining a clean environment, food service, documentation, program operation and fun recreational activities. Starting in July of each year, Hunger Action distributes customized flyers listing the SFSP sites in various counties. To receive a flyer, contact Hunger Action Network.

Each site that administers the Summer Food Program has a program “sponsor.” The sponsor is responsible for supervising and training site coordinators, completing necessary paperwork, distributing food and recruiting SFSP sites.

Interested in Providing Meals to Children This Summer?
Become a Sponsor or Start a Site!
If you serve children in the summer and are interested in finding out if you are eligible to become a site or sponsor of the SFSP, please contact us for more information or send us this SFSP
Sponsor Information Flyer. There is an application process. Sponsors are eligible to receive a set rate of reimbursements on meals that they provide to children during the summer months. This reimbursement covers food and operational and administrative expenses, such as staff and rental costs. The reimbursements do not necessarily cover all costs associated with the program.

Helpful Resources on Summer Food Service Program

United States Department of Agriculture

Community Food Resource Center

Nutrition Consortium of NYS

Northeast Regional Anti-Hunger Network

New York State Administering Agency Contact Information:
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Room 55
State Education Department
Albany, New York 12234-0055
Phone: (518) 474-3921
Fax: (518) 473-0018


Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

Food Stamp Program

School Meal Programs

Summer Food Service Program

WIC Program