Best Practices & Quick Links for Sponsors

Please use this guide to facilitate your SFSP sponsorship research. The following information includes quick links to important websites regarding the Summer Food Service Program, webinars and links that relate to Second Harvest Heartland’s four fundable categories, as well as creative use of Second Harvest Heartland’s funding by our previous sponsors.

Quick Links

The following links offer essential information regarding the Summer Food Service Program.


SFSP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA reimburses sponsors that are approved and serve meals that meet Federal nutritional guidelines.


The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) administers the SFSP throughout Minnesota. MDE seeks new sponsors for sites in underserved communities without summer meal sites.

Share Our Strength (No Kid Hungry)

Share Our Strength's (SOS) No Kid Hungry campaign is helping to end childhood hunger by connecting children to national nutrition programs.


The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) is a nonprofit organization working to eliminate hunger in the US. FRAC offers support and information on implementing a SFSP and being successful throughout a sponsorship.

Best Practices: Second Harvest Heartland's four fundable categories

Sponsors who receive grant funding from Second Harvest Heartland can use those funds to cover costs in four ways – Opening new sites, overcoming transportation-related barriers, enhancing meal components or converting closed sites to open sites. Within each category, links are directed to important information pertaining to each category to assist in implementing and maintaining a successful SFSP sponsorship.

1. Opening New Sites

2. Overcoming Transportation-Related Barriers

  • Best Practices for Tackling the Transportation Barriers – webinar

    SOS’s Mobile Meals Playbook offers best practices for determining if mobile is right for you, making plans for a new mobile program, and/or adopting better practices to improve your existing programs.

  • SOS Mobile Meals Playbook

    Learn about the many solutions that can help you solve transportation challenges so you can feed and reach even more children!

3. Enhancing Meal Components

4. Conversion of Closed Sites to New Sites

Other Resources

Additional Funding Opportunities


Creative Use of Funds from Previous Second Harvest Heartland Sponsors

  • Reading books handed out for activities, prizes, or for attendance.

    SOS partners with First Book to make new, low-cost books available to children at summer and afterschool meal programs. Books can be purchased through the First Book Marketplace year-round, but check the Sponsor Center Homepage for information about current promotions.

  • Punch cards for attendance (get 10 punches and receive a prize)
  • Ice cream socials
  • Crafting supplies
  • Food & Fitness (offering Zumba, yoga, or other fitness classes after a meal to keep kids onsite)
  • Partnering with police department for a neighborhood night out
  • Mobile app Nutrislice
  • Postage for flyers
  • Flyers to put in grocery store or dollar store shopping bags
  • Walking map flyers
  • Flyers with pictures of food served or menus
  • Bus transportation from community programs to SFSP site
  • Food truck costs
  • Stipends for student labor (interns, college & high school students)

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