News Department

NJ Department of Agriculture seeks agencies to sponsor meals for summer nutrition program

NEW JERSEY –  New Jersey Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Joe Atchison III Tuesday announced applications are open for organizations to sponsor the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.

Through the program, organizations in New Jersey are able to help provide nutritious meals to children in low-income areas during the summer months.

The deadline for submission of new applications is March 20.

The Summer Food Program began in 1976 as an outgrowth of the National School Lunch Program. The Summer Food Service Program is designed to reach those who are age 18 or younger in economically disadvantaged areas. It is also open to people over 18 who have certain disabilities and who participate in public or nonprofit private programs established to provide services for people with disabilities.

The federally funded program reimburses participating organizations for meals served to children who live in areas in which at least 50 percent of children qualify for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.

Applicants may include public or private nonprofit school food authorities; units of local, municipal, county, or state governments; public or private nonprofit organizations; residential summer camps; or national youth sports programs.

Organizations approved to sponsor the Summer Food Service Program are responsible for managing the feeding sites that provide meals ­– such as breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks – to young children.

Most participating organizations may be reimbursed for up to two meals a day. Meals may also be reimbursed for nights and weekends. Those serving primarily migrant children may be reimbursed for up to three meals a day.

Residential camps may serve up to three meals a day but are reimbursed only for meals served to children eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program.

In 2023, 168 organizations participated in the Summer Food Service Program serving 4,689,362 nutritious meals which included breakfast, lunches, dinners, and snacks to 1,253 summer meal sites. In School Year 2022-23, two School Food Authorities with a total of three sites participated in the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option to provide 1,902 free lunches and 1,609 free breakfasts to children 18 and under.

For more information on the Summer Food Service Program, visit or call 609-292-4498.

In addition to the Summer Food Program, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Food and Nutrition, administers a number of programs devoted to improving the quality and provision of food to New Jersey’s food-insecure residents, including School Nutrition Programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

The Division of Food and Nutrition also administers The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which distributes federally donated commodities to six emergency feeding organizations statewide. These federally donated foods are distributed to more than 850 soup kitchens, food pantries, and public feeding sites combating food insecurity in communities across New Jersey.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

Related Articles

Back to top button