Texas Department of Agriculture (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 must 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 completed SFSP application packets that are submitted by the applicable deadline will be processed.
When you submit your application, TDA will determine if the application is complete (as defined below). You will be notified no later than the 15th day from the date the application packet was submitted in TX-UNPS if it is not complete. Your 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?
A complete application means you have submitted everything that is required, on the appropriate form for the program you wish to operate, and that all the appropriate fields on all of your forms are filled out. (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.)
Once your application is complete TDA has 30 days of the receipt (submission date) of a complete application, which will be your most recent application submission date, to review and approve or deny the application.
SFSP Application Timeframe and Deadlines
January 15, 2014: Access to SFSP application packet opens in TX-UNPS.
March 15, 2014: Deadline for CEs requesting an advance payment.
April 15, 2014: Deadline for new CEs or a renewing CE in need of a more thorough review.
May 1, 2014: Deadline for renewing CEs.
REMINDER: CEs must be in good standing and maintain their good standing with the State of Texas Secretary of State (SOS) and the Office of the Comptroller of the State of Texas (Comptroller) while they're applying to participate and while participating in any of the federal nutrition programs administered by the TDA. Failure to maintain 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 termination of a CE's Permanent Agreement).
SFSP Application Packet Components
1. Online: TX-UNPS Application Screens: electronic sections of the application in TX-UNPS that must be correctly completed by the application deadline.
2. 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 you to submit additional documentation to support information provided on a form.
Prior to Applying as a CE: FOR NEW SPONSORS 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 email the requestor form FND-101, Certificate of Authority for External Users, 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.
This process can take up to 7 business days.
STEPS TO APPLYING AS A CE
1. Complete the Application Packet in TX-UNPS and Submit 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 you 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 as well as the fax or email (or other documentation) to confirm when the documents were sent to TDA.
2. Attend Required Training
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 your agency type and prior participation, if applicable. To learn more about training and to determine which specific TDA SFSP course is required for your organization, go to Summer Feeding Program Training.
How to get help with the application process
Throughout the application approval process, technical assistance may be provided via the Comments to Contracting Entity field, and/or via telephone, and/or via email. It is the CE's responsibility to address all noted issues/items 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.
Technical assistance is available by contacting your TDA Regional Offices.
Please mention to the receptionist that you are calling for assistance with SFSP.
TDA Hotline: (877) TEX-MEAL
Region 1: El Paso Office (915) 834-7520
Region 2: Dallas Office (817) 321-8100
Region 3: Houston Office (713) 921-8201
Region 4: San Antonio/Austin (210) 820-0288
Region 5: San Juan (956) 787-8866 ext. 204
If you have questions on application packet deadlines, please reach out for technical assistance or clarification well in advance.
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.
If you need assistance, or a paper application, please contact TDA at (877) TEX-MEAL. (877-839-6325).