How to Participate

The Food Distribution Program (FDP) offers U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) donated food to participating sponsors in the spring and fall through the Cyber-Linked Interactive Child Nutrition System (CLiCS 1).

Expressing Interest
Sponsors currently approved for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) that expressed their interest in FDP are eligible to participate.

During the sponsor’s first year in NSLP/SFSP and FDP, the sponsor is eligible to participate in CLiCS1 preference surveys for bonus (non-entitlement) USDA Foods usually offered in the fall. After one full school year’s worth of meals on the NSLP or SFSP, a sponsor is eligible to receive entitlement dollars and participate in CLiCS1 preference surveys for these USDA Foods and products as well as bonus USDA Foods.

Before sponsors can participate in FDP, they must express interest in participating in the program. Sponsoring authorities can e-mail the following information to

  • Sponsor Name (from CLiCS 2- NSLP/SFSP Application).
  • Sponsor Identification Number (from CLiCS 2- NSLP/SFSP Application).
  • Food Distributor/Prime Vendor (this is the vendor which delivers the food to the sponsor or on behalf of the sponsor to the caterer or Food Service Management Company).
  • The sponsor’s personal statement of interest.

Participants continue to be active in the program as long as they use their yearly entitlement. After three years of not using entitlement dollars, FDP will remove sponsors from the program. Sponsors removed from the program need to re-express interest and must include a plan for better utilizing their future entitlement in order to be approved.