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Area Eligibility Using Census Data

Last Published: 10/26/2017

This memo has been rescinded, and replaced by SP 49-2014, CACFP 13-2014, SFSP 19-2014

The purpose of this memorandum is to allow additional flexibility in using census data for area eligibility determinations in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Summer Seamless Option (SSO). These additional flexibilities are effective immediately.

The Secretary may use census data in determining area eligibility for the SFSP and CACFP, as authorized in Sections 13(a)(1)(A)(II) and 17(f)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(aa), 42 USC 1761(a)(1)(A)(II) 1766(f)(3)(A)(ii)(I)(aa).  CACFP and SFSP regulations provide more specifically that census data may be used to determine area eligibility for day care homes and certain SFSP sites and SSO sites. Eligibility is established when census data indicate that at least 50 percent of the children residing in the area are members of households that meet the income standards for free or reduced-price meals 7 CFR 226.15(f) and 225.6(c)(3)(B). Previous policy guidance has identified the Census Block Groups (CBGs) to be the geographical unit used to assess eligibility for CACFP, SFSP, and SSO when using census data CACFP 07-2012, SFSP 09-2012, Eligibility Based on Census Data: 2012 Data Release, February 13, 2013.

Document #: 
SP38 CACFP10 SFSP15-2014