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2017 Edition of Questions and Answers for the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option

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PDF Icon Policy Memo (243.83 KB)
DATE: December 1, 2016
SUBJECT: 2017 Edition of Questions and Answers for the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

This memorandum consolidates the recent policy changes in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) that affect the implementation of the Seamless Summer Option (SSO). This memorandum and its attachment supersede SP 37-2015, 2015 Edition of Questions and Answers for the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option, May 22, 2015.

The SSO offers school food authorities (SFAs) operating the NSLP or SBP a streamlined option for providing summer meals by continuing to follow several of the same operational requirements, such as the NSLP/SBP meal patterns and procedures for filing claims and determining student eligibility. For other aspects of the summer meal operation, SFAs implementing the SSO must follow the SFSP requirements, such as site determination. SSO operators may generally use the toolkits and resources developed for the summer meal programs, with the exception of those designated for SFSP use only. Guidance and clarification on all summer meal options available to schools is provided through SP 07-2013, SFSP 04-2013, Summer Feeding Options for School Food Authorities Revised, Nov. 23, 2012.

Increasing access to USDA’s summer meal programs, including the SSO and the SFSP, is an important priority for the Food and Nutrition Service. FNS has developed resources for use by state agencies administering the programs and for organizations participating in these programs. Summer meal programs rely on innovative and collaborative efforts to provide summer meals to children in need. The “Summer Meals Toolkit” is designed for individuals and organizations interested in serving as summer meal champions in their communities at any level of program administration. It is a valuable resource for partner organizations on how they can best support and participate in the summer meal programs. The toolkit includes information on meal service at open sites, partner collaborations, vendor relations, nutrition education resources and other best practices. This online resource is available at

State agencies are reminded to distribute this information to program operators immediately. Program operators should direct any questions regarding this memorandum to the appropriate state agency. State agencies should direct questions to the appropriate FNS regional office.

Angela Kline
Policy and Program Development Division
Child Nutrition Programs


Page updated: September 12, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.