(877)TEX-MEAL
How can I participate in SFSP?
This page provides information on how an organization may apply to participate in the SFSP.

Note to School Food Authorities (SFAs): For SFAs wishing to operate the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), please refer to Section 12 of the Administrator's Reference Manual (ARM).

2016 SFSP Application Timeframe and Deadlines

January 15, 2016: Access to SFSP application packet opens in TX-UNPS. 

March 15, 2016:  Deadline for CEs requesting an advance payment.

April 15, 2016: Deadline for new CEs*, or returning CEs in need of a more thorough review** 
May 1, 2016:  Deadline for returning CEs.


*Organizations applying to be new CEs should take into consideration the time needed to get the pre-eligibility form and FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users processed to avoid a missed deadline.

**CEs in need of a more thorough review are those with a deferred serious deficiency  in: 

• the previous CACFP and/or SFSP program year, and/or 

• the current CACFP program year. 


Recommended SFSP Application Timeframes For Additional Requests 
At least 60 days prior to start of SFSP operations, a CE should submit: 
  • A request for a rural designation request of a SFSP site located in a Metropolitan statistical area
  • A request for non-congregate feeding for exceptional circumstances other than excessive heat
  • A request for a waiver of SFSP requirements.
TDA will notify CEs about the approval or denial of these requests. See the "Summer Feeding Policy & Handbooks" page for information on how to submit these requests.

A sponsor (referred to as a Contracting Entity or “CE”) contracts directly with the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) for overall management of operations at one or more sites (also called “meal sites”). An organization is eligible to apply to be a CE if it is a governmental entity, a public or private non-profit school, a public or private non-profit residential camp, or a private non-profit organization (tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended).

 

Recommendation for organizations new to the SFSP: As the administrative requirements of the SFSP are rigorous, TDA strongly recommends these organizations operate their first SFSP year as a meal site under an experienced CE. These sites are welcome to transition to a CE role after successful participation as a site for a minimum of one year.
Click here for information on how to become a meal site.

 

Who is eligible to apply?

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All organizations which wish to apply for the SFSP must be eligible to participate. Click here to learn if your organization is eligible to apply before starting an application.

Prior to Applying as a CE: FOR NEW CEs ONLY
Complete and submit the SFSP Pre-Eligibility Form and FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users, to gain access to TX-UNPS.    
  • Go here to read about pre-eligibility for SFSP.
  • If you believe your organization is eligible to participate in the SFSP, click on the link “SFSP Pre-Eligibility Form” at the bottom of the page.
  • Complete and submit the form.
  • TDA will send form FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users, by email with instructions to complete and submit.
  • Every new organization is given a CE ID and each authorized individual is given a User ID and Password for accessing the system.  

NOTE: This process can take up to 7 business days. New CEs applying for the SFSP for the first time must meet all applicable deadlines.

REMINDER: CEs must be in good standing (and maintain their good standing) with the Texas Secretary of State (SOS) and the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (Comptroller) while they’re applying to participate or are participating in any of the programs administered by the TDA Food and Nutrition Division. Failure to maintain a good standing status with either the SOS or Comptroller will result in denial of the application, and/or the CE being declared seriously deficient (which may lead to the termination of the CE’s permanent agreement).

CEs that are currently Seriously Deficient in (or that have been terminated from participation) in any Child Nutrition Program administered by TDA, and CEs that have outstanding debt owed to TDA are not eligible for participation in the SFSP.

How does the application process work?

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TDA will only review complete applications for approval or denial. The following page provides application deadlines and important information to help you understand what is included in an approvable SFSP application.

TDA has an Internet-based system, Texas Unified Nutrition Programs System (TX-UNPS), which CEs use to submit applications, file claims, and manage the nutrition programs they operate. For TX-UNPS assistance click here.

ABOUT THE SFSP APPLICATION PROCESS
Only complete SFSP application packets that are submitted by the applicable deadline will be processed.

When a CE submits an application, TDA will determine if the application is complete (as defined below). CEs will be notified no later than the 15th day from the date the application packet was submitted in TX-UNPS if it is incomplete. The notification will advise on needed changes in order to have a complete application on file for processing.

The overall application process may require multiple iterations. Also keep in mind – the CE will not be reimbursed for meals served prior to the date the application is approved.

What is a complete application?

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A complete application means a CE has submitted everything that is required, on all the appropriate forms for the SFSP, and that all the appropriate fields on all of the forms are filled out.  

Once an application is complete, TDA has 30 days from the most recent application submission date of a complete application to review and approve or deny the application. 

(Complete does not mean that all sites must be included. Once the initial application is approved, CEs can add sites at any point, as needed.)


What are the steps to applying as a CE?

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  1. Determine eligibility to participate. Click here to learn more. 
  2. Complete the Application Packet in TX-UNPS and submit Required Documents/Checklist Items.
    In addition to completing the online portion of the application packet, CEs are required to submit additional information identified as “Checklist Items.”
    • The chart below will assist CEs in determining which Checklist Items they are required to submit. The type of CE applying determines which items are required.
    • It is the CE's responsibility to review all application materials and to submit all items required for their application.
    • Any form or document that is not submitted online in TX-UNPS must be completed in ink or other non-erasable print, and contain the CE Name and CE ID. Read all form instructions before completing the form.
    • CE must keep a copy of all documents submitted to TDA to confirm when the documents were sent to TDA.
  3. Attend Required Training
  4. The CE’s supervisory personnel responsible for the food service must attend TDA’s required SFSP training prior to starting program operations. Personnel will complete training based on the organization type and prior SFSP participation. CEs may attend the SFSP Summer Conference (February 17 – 19, 2016, in Austin) or a class provided by an ESC (dates and times determined by each ESC) to fulfill this requirement.
Need help throughout the application process?
CEs may contact their regional ESC for technical assistance. It is the CE's responsibility to address all noted issues/items with an application and actively pursue the technical assistance that is available and offered to them in order to correct the application packet and resubmit it to TDA.
Click here for a list of regional ESCs.

Signatures for Program-Related Documents

Only an authorized representative that is currently authorized on form FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users, can sign program-related documents for your organization.

Need a Paper Application?
If your organization needs a paper application, please contact TDA at (877) TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) or email SFSP.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov.

SFSP Application Packet

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SFSP Application Packet Components

                       

Online TX-UNPS Application Screens: Electronic sections of the application in TX-UNPS that must be correctly completed by the application deadline.
Required Documents/Checklist Items: One or more forms that must be completely and correctly filled out and submitted by the application deadline. Some of the checklist items may ask a CE to submit additional documentation to support information provided on a form. CEs may upload these documents directly into TX-UNPS.

TX-UNPS Application Screens

Screen Name

Required for New CEs

Required for Returning CEs

Additional Information

SFSP Contracting Entity Application

×

×

The CE may also be required to submit government issued ID, with picture, and proof of home address for the person listed as the Primary Authorized Representative.

SFSP Budget Detail

×

×

All CEs, including schools, must complete this screen.

SFSP Management Plan

×

×

The CE may also be required to submit government issued ID, with picture, and proof of home address for the person listed as the Board Chairman.

SFSP Food Production Facility List

×

×

If any sites are vended or receive meals from a central kitchen, the CE must complete this screen for each location where food is prepared.

SFSP Site Field Trip List

×       

×

If applicable

For each field trip request, complete a separate screen. This may be done at the time of application or at least fifteen (15) days prior to field trip date.

SFSP Site Application

×

×

Complete this screen for each site the CE applies to sponsor.

Advance Request

×

If applicable and eligible

×

If applicable and eligible

If requesting an advance payment, the CE must complete the advance request screen for each eligible month that the CE is requesting an advance. This can be done only after the application packet has been approved.

Annual Audit

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

All CEs that may be subject to the Single Audit Act are required to complete the Annual Audit screen indicating their fiscal year and any other federal funds they receive.            

                 

NOTE:
Any CE that is a Military Installation, Indian Tribe, or Government Agency and is a Federal entity is not required to complete and submit the Annual Audit screen.

Required Documents/Checklist Items

Download Form

Required for New CEs

Required for Returning CEs

Additional Information

Permanent Agreement           

PDF icon

×

 

Each organization applying for its first Child Nutrition Program must complete and submit one original Permanent Agreement.

Permanent Agreement Contracting Entity Specific Amendment

Word DOC icon

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

CEs participating in other child nutrition programs (CACFP, NSLP) that are new to SFSP must also complete and submit a Permanent Agreement Contracting Entity Specific Amendment.

Direct Deposit Authorization (74-176)

PDF icon

×

×

If changed

Complete and submit to receive direct deposit of your reimbursement.

Application for Texas Identification Number (AP-152)

PDF icon

×

 

If you are providing a Employer Identification Number (EIN) on the Application for Texas Identification Number (Form AP-152), you must provide a copy of the document from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that establishes your organization's EIN. A copy of the letter from the IRS issuing the EIN or a copy of the payment coupon with the EIN on it, is acceptable.

Pre-Award Civil Rights Compliance Review        

Word DOC icon

×

If applicable

 

 

Only new CEs that do not already have a Permanent Agreement are required to submit this form. This form is used to provide Civil Rights information required to determine if an organization is eligible for participation.

              

NOTE
: The total ethnicity must equal the total participation. Example: If you estimate 100 participants, 100 participants must be categorized by ethnicity. Participants may be categorized in multiple racial categories, so you may have over 100 in race.

Health Department Letter         

Word DOC icon

                               (Prototype Letter: Health Department Notification)

×

×

Submit a copy of the notification letter sent to each health department that has jurisdiction over the sites that you propose to sponsor.           



This letter should include the following information for all sites in the health department’s jurisdiction:            

  • Site name
  • Site address
  • Meal types being served
  • Start and end time of each meal
  • Start and end dates of meal service operation

Media Release – All Site Types

Not required

Not required

TDA does a Statewide media release on behalf of all SFSP sponsors.    



NOTE: If you submit a copy of a media release that you intend to do on your own behalf, it will be discarded by staff and will not be reviewed for completeness and accuracy by TDA. 

Commodity Agreement  

PDF icon

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

If you do not currently have a Commodity Agreement on file with TDA (version dated February 2014) and wish to receive USDA Foods, you must complete and submit one original. A signed copy will be returned to you after TDA approves your application.

 

NOTE: CEs eligible to receive USDA Foods under the SFSP include

  • CEs preparing meals onsite or at a central kitchen.
  • CEs purchasing meals from a School Food Authority (SFA) that participates in the National School Lunch Program (NLSP).
  • SFAs that procure their SFSP meals from the same food service management company that competitively provided their most recent NSLP and/or School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals.

Viability, Capability and Accountability (VCA) Checklist        

Word DOC icon PDF icon

×

×

If applicable

New Private Non-profit Organizations must complete and submit one original form with all supporting documentation. Returning CEs may be asked to verify previously submitted VCA information or to complete a VCA Checklist again. CEs may refer to the SFSP VCA Checklist Evaluation Questions document to learn how TDA will assess the submitted VCA Checklist.

 

NOTE: If you are a new private non-profit applicant to SFSP, but already participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and are in good standing (have not been found to be seriously deficient in operating the CACFP), you are not required to complete this form.

FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users

Word DOC icon Instructions Icon

 

×

×

If changes

Complete and submit this form to identify the officials designated to act on behalf of the CE. These individuals will also be given access, as designated, to TX-UNPS.

Method for Collecting Payment and Additional Assurances form

 

(Form H1506-A, Additional Assurances for Camps and Other Enrollment Programs that Charge Separately for Meals; Collection of Payment Options for Programs that Charge Separately for Meals)

Word DOC icon PDF icon Instructions Icon

×

If applicable

×

If changes

Complete and submit one original, if applicable.

Copy of vending agreement, contract and bid summary (Summer Food Service Program -- Invitation for Bid and Contract), or Extension (Summer Food Service Program – Invitation for Bid and Contract)      

Word DOC icon  PDF icon

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

If you will be inviting food service management companies to bid to furnish unitized meals, complete and return one copy. If you are in the renewal year of a contract, you must submit contract extension documentation.

 

NOTE: Does not apply to School Food Authority applicants that have a FSMC contract for NSLP/SBP that includes SFSP.

Agreement to Provide Food Service

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

If the meal service method of any of your sites is “Vended by School Food Authority” or “Vended by another SFSP Contracting Entity,” submit a copy of the agreement to provide food service.

 

NOTE: See Administrative Guidance for Sponsors – Attachments for a sample Agreement.

Bureau of Indian Affairs Letter

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

 

If Eligible Method (question 29) of the SFSP Site Application is Bureau of Indian Affairs Letter, submit statistics on the population from one of the 12 Bureau of Indian Affairs area offices.

Migrant Organization Letter

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

If Eligible Method (question 29) of the SFSP Site Application is Migrant Organization Letter, submit information obtained from the migrant organization that certifies that the site serves a majority of children of migrant workers.

Homeless Site Information

×

If applicable

×

If applicable

 

If Eligible Method (question 29) of the SFSP Site Application is Homeless Site Information, submit information that demonstrates that site is not a residential child care institution; description of method used to ensure that no cash payments or other in-kind services are used for meal service; and certification that site only claims meals served to homeless and non-homeless children.

 

NOTE: Residential child care institution means any public or private nonprofit institution which operates principally for the care of children. The term “residential child care institution” includes, but is not limited to: homes for the mentally, emotionally or physically impaired, and unmarried mother and their infants; group homes; halfway houses; orphanages; temporary shelters for abused children and for runaway children; long-term care facilities for chronically ill children; and juvenile detention centers.

SUBMITTING DOCUMENTATION TO TDA

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Make sure the CE Name and CE ID are on every page of every form/document that is submitted. Keep a copy of all forms/documents submitted to TDA.

UPLOAD DOCUMENTS DIRECTLY TO TX-UNPS: Mailing documents to TDA may delay the CE’s intended receipt date of documents. As a reminder, CEs can upload all documentation directly in TX-UNPS, and TDA strongly recommends this method of submission. 

In addition to direct upload in TX-UNPS, CEs may also send documentation to TDA by one of the following methods:

Email to SFSP.BOps@TexasAgriculture.gov

Fax to 888-223-8645

Mail to
Texas Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition
Attn: F&N Business Operations – Applications
P.O. Box 12847
Austin, Texas 78711

Overnight to
Texas Department of Agriculture
Food and Nutrition
Attn: F&N Business Operations – Applications
1700 North Congress Ave.
Austin, Texas 78701

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

 (1) mail: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 
(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 
 
 (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
© 2016 Texas Department of Agriculture