INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — After the 2021 Summer Meals Program served nearly 22 million meals to kids throughout the state, the Indiana Department of Education is encouraging schools and qualified community organizations to participate this summer.

There were 280 sponsors participating in last summer’s program. The department said that many sponsors offered extras like educational or physical activities for students.

While the program has received much more attention in recent years, it was actually created back in 1968 as the Summer Food Service Program. The United States Department of Agriculture operates and funds the program with administration left to each state.

Participating organizations must meet USDA regulations to join, more information can be found here. The application deadline for sponsors is April 15. The Department of Education will host multiple webinars for new and returning sponsors.