Serve Meals

Meal distribution at Dee Brown Library

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), after school and summer meal programs, reimburse organizations that serve meals to children and teens in low-income areas.

Who Can Sponsor Meal Programs?

Local government agencies, school districts, and private nonprofit organizations may sponsor meal sites.

What is a Meal Site?

A meal site is a place in the community where children receive meals in a safe and supervised environment. Sites may be in a variety of settings, including schools, libraries, parks, community centers, health clinics, hospitals, apartment complexes, churches, and migrant centers. Sites work directly with sponsors.

It Pays to Serve Meals

Meal sponsors receive $2.41 for each breakfast served, $4.25 per lunch, $3.75 per supper served, and $0.96 per snack. These reimbursements add up.  For instance, a meal program serving 50 children a meal and snack, 180 school days a year, could receive approximately $33,795.  Up to 15 percent of the total reimbursement funding received can be used to support administrative costs. While 50 percent of the reimbursement must cover the cost of food the other half could be used for operational expenses.

Find a Sponsor

Organizations may choose to be a meal site and work with an established meal sponsor. In this case, the sponsor works with DHS and administers the program. The sponsor delivers USDA meals to the site. The meal site is responsible for supervising the kids on site and providing enrichment activities after school, during the summer, and on weekends. For a list of local sponsors, contact Kay Kay DeRossette at [email protected].

To become a sponsor, contact Arkansas Department of Human Services at 501-682-8869.  Applications must be completed here.  

Who Does the Program Serve?

USDA meal programs serve children and teens age 18 and younger.


Next Steps

Contact the Be Mighty Specialist via email [email protected] or call 501-320-5775.