ROSEVILLE, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) is asking for the public's help to feed students during the summer months.

MDE needs organizations to sponsor the 2017 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) to provide free meals to Minnesota kids who rely on free or reduced-price meals during the school year. In the summer when school is out, those kids are at risk of going without the proper nutrition.

Sponsors will receive training, technical assistance and reimbursement. The Department of Education says program sites are often located at schools, recreation or community centers, parks and faith-based organizations.

Last summer, almost 200 schools and other organizations operated more than 870 sites and served almost 3 million meals to kids. The summer meals program still only reaches 17 percent of low-income children, though. They are hoping to grow with the help of new sponsors.

A sponsoring organization must be a:
• Public or nonprofit private school food authority
• Public or nonprofit private residential summer camp
• Unit of local, municipal, county or state government
• Public or nonprofit college or university

Anyone interested in participating in the Summer Food Service Program can contact the Minnesota Department of Education at or call 651-582-8526. More information is also available on Minnesota Department of Education’s website.