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Simplifying Application Procedures in the Summer Food Service Program

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
CACFP 03-2012, SFSP 05-2012
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy memo (73.14 KB)
DATE:October 31, 2011
MEMO CODE:CACFP 03-2012, SFSP 05-2012
SUBJECT:Simplifying Application Procedures in the Summer Food Service Program
TO:Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

The purpose of this memo is to clarify the simplified application procedures currently available to experienced Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) sponsors and sites in good standing and to describe simplified application procedures now available to experienced Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) institutions in good standing who wish to apply for participation in SFSP. This memo also will streamline the agreement requirements for institutions that participate in both CACFP and SFSP.

Experienced SFSP Sponsors and Sites

Currently, sponsors and sites that successfully participated in SFSP in the previous year may submit condensed information for succeeding years. This means that experienced sponsors and sites in good standing only need to submit information that is likely to change from year to year. Experienced sponsors are not required to submit the same detail of organizational and operational information required of new sponsors. The condensed information required of experienced sponsors and sites is described in 7 CFR §225.6(c)(3).

Participating CACFP Institutions in Good Standing

In an effort to improve participation in SFSP by eligible institutions, The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is waiving some application requirements for CACFP institutions in good standing (those that have not been found to be seriously deficient in program operation) that wish to apply to participate in SFSP for the first time. Similar to renewing SFSP sponsors in good standing, CACFP institutions in good standing applying to participate in the SFSP are no longer required to demonstrate financial and administrative capability for program operations as required by 7 CFR §225.14(c)(1).

In addition, CACFP institutions, primarily those participating in the at-risk afterschool meals component, that want to operate the SFSP at the same sites where they provide meal service through the CACFP may follow the application requirements outlined in 225.6(c)(3) for experienced SFSP sponsors and sites instead of the application requirements in 225.6(c)(2) for new sponsors and sites. The only exception is that they will also need to include the following information:

  • Whether the site is rural or non-rural;
  • Whether the site’s food service will be self-prepared or vended;
  • If a migrant site, certification from a migrant organization that the site serves children of migrant worker families and that it primarily serves migrant children if it also serves non-migrant children; and
  • If a homeless site, information demonstrating the site is not a residential child care institution, description of the method used to ensure that no cash payments or other in-kind services are used for meal service, and certification that the site only claims meals served to children.

CACFP institutions already undergo a rigorous application process in order to participate in CACFP and have demonstrated that they have the financial and organizational viability, capability, and accountability necessary to operate CACFP and therefore have the potential to operate SFSP as well. CACFP institutions that will be operating the same meal service through SFSP have already demonstrated that they are capable of providing a meal service at the site that meets the requirements for SFSP, so they do not need to submit the information demonstrating this capability.

Please note, however, that most CACFP institutions may apply to participate in SFSP only if they will be serving a different population of children than those in their regular child care program. CACFP sponsors may not convert from CACFP to SFSP merely as a means to receive the higher reimbursement offered through the SFSP program for serving the same children otherwise served through CACFP.

An exception to the above rule is a CACFP institution that operates an at-risk afterschool care program during the school year and applies to participate in the SFSP during the summer. Although the sponsor will be serving the same children during the summer months that they serve during the school year, the CACFP at-risk afterschool care program is not available during the summer, thus making the institution eligible to participate in SFSP.

This change is effective for applications submitted for summer 2012 in states where the same state agency operates both CACFP and SFSP. Where two different state agencies operate these programs, the SFSP state agency may institute this change in 2012 if it is able to obtain information regarding the sponsor’s status in the CACFP program from the CACFP state agency.

This memorandum does not change the requirements related to the application of participating SFSP sponsors interested in applying to participate in CACFP.

Single Agreements for Institutions Participating in both CACFP and SFSP

Currently, the regulations require that the state agency enter into a single permanent agreement with a school food authority that operates more than one child nutrition program administered by that state agency (7 CFR 226.6(b)(4)). Other institutions that participate in both CACFP and SFSP now may enter into one agreement for both programs. This means an addendum to the existing agreement may be made for institutions participating in CACFP and SFSP. However, state agencies may still choose to require institutions to enter into separate agreements for both programs.

State agencies should direct any questions concerning this guidance to the appropriate FNS regional office. Regional offices with questions should contact the Child Nutrition Division.

Cynthia Long
Child Nutrition Division

Page updated: November 22, 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.