SFSP Sponsor Grant Application and Overview

Grant Overview

Children who have an opportunity to receive much of their nutrition during the academic year through school based programs face fewer options over the summer months. This grant is intended to support new and returning sponsors for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and to help offset implementation costs of new or growing programs.


The New Sponsor Grant offers an opportunity for new USDA SFSP sponsors to launch their feeding sites in Minnesota communities. IMPORTANT: An organization is eligible for a new grant if they were NOT a sponsor in 2015! Grants are designed to increase participation in SFSP by providing funds to help counteract costs new sponsors face in implementing new sites. The New Sponsor Grant is intended to provide funds that establish self-sustaining programs. Future funding opportunities will focus on expanding programs, not maintaining funds for reoccurring costs.

The Returning Sponsor Grant offers an opportunity for preexisting USDA SFSP sponsors to expand their feeding sites in Minnesota communities. IMPORTANT: An organization is eligible for a returning grant if they were a sponsor in 2015! Grants are designed to increase participation in SFSP by providing funds to help counteract costs sponsors may encounter when attempting to serve additional meals and build on their programs from the previous year. Grants must only be used for converting 2015 closed sites to open sites in 2016, enhancing the meal components, and transportation costs.


  • Sponsors and sites must be located within Second Harvest Heartland’s Minnesota Service Area which includes the 7-county metro and surrounding southern and western counties. Click here for a complete list of counties in our Service Area.
  • Grant recipients must successfully have completed the SFSP application for the Minnesota Department of Education.
  • Only sponsors overseeing area-eligible “open” meal sites will be considered for grant funding. (Find information on “open” sites on the USDA website.
  • Only applicants who fully complete this application by the May 2nd deadline will be considered.


Grant awards are up to $2,500 per sponsor. Grant funding is based on need and size of the program. Grants may be used in a variety of ways. New sponsor grants are intended to help with the costs of starting a sustaining summer food service program. Returning sponsor grants are intended to increase meals through costs associated with opening previously closed sites, enhancing meal components, and transportation costs. Grants are intended to be used for increasing participation and serving more meals. Uses could include but are not limited to:


  • Staffing costs
  • Transportation of food or children
  • Program promotion
  • Purchasing equipment for SFSP use


  • Hiring a cook/chef for specific food preparation
  • Purchasing fresh or local produce
  • Promoting newly open sites
  • Activity costs from community partnerships

Grant reporting

Grant reporting is extremely important in order to ensure proper and effective use of funds. Failure to meet reporting requirements and deadlines will disqualify awardees from receiving grants for the next grant cycle (summer 2017). Grant recipients will receive more detailed reporting information at the time of their award.


  1. Each grant recipient will be required to submit a progress report midway through the summer. Progress reports will include a narrative regarding successes and challenges for their program along with preliminary meal counts.
  2. At the end of the summer, grant recipients will submit a final report to Second Harvest Heartland. This report will include:
    • Meal count data that is consistent and verifiable with MDE reported data.
    • Feedback (quotes and comments) from participants.
    • Multiple choice SFSP program questionnaire which will be disseminated at the end of the summer.
    • Information regarding use of funds.


March 7 Grant information and applications are posted
May 2 Application deadline – due by 4pm!
Early June Latest date by which recipients will receive award notification
July 18 Midsummer recipient report due
August 15 On-line meal count and survey available for final reporting
September 12 All final reporting must be completed

Submitting applications

All applications must be submitted online on or before May 2, 2016 at 4pm. Any questions about SFSP, the grant application process, submission process or awards should be directed to kidseatfree@2harvest.org or 651.403.6060.

Note: If your organization was a 2015 SFSP sponsor, you are considered a RETURNING sponsor!

Start Your Grant Application

Sample applications

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