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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 16, 2021.
Summer Meals Act of 2021
This bill revises provisions related to the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), which provides meals to children and teens in low-income areas during the summer months when school is not in session.
The bill redefines areas in which poor economic conditions exist, where the SFSP may operate, as areas in which at least 40% (currently, 50%) of the children have been determined to be eligible for free or reduced price school meals under the school lunch and breakfast programs.
The bill reimburses service institutions (other than school food authorities) for up to one meal and one snack per child each day during after-school hours, weekends, and school holidays during the regular school calendar. Currently, such institutions are reimbursed for meals and snacks served to children over the summer months or to children who are on vacation under a continuous school calendar.
USDA may award competitive grants to service institutions to increase participation in the summer food service program for children at congregate feeding sites through innovative approaches to limited transportation and mobile meal trucks.
Service institutions that are participating in the summer food service program for children may serve up to three meals, or two meals and one snack, during each day of operation. Currently, this option is reserved for camps and service institutions that serve meals primarily to migrant children.