Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Use of School Feeding Facilities For The Elderly and Other Community Feeding Programs

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (123.88 KB)
DATE:June 20, 1973
SUBJECT:Use of School Feeding Facilities for the Elderly and Other Community Feeding Programs
TO:Regional Offices
State Distributing Agencies
State Educational Agencies

This Instruction clarifies the Department's policy regarding the use of school feeding facilities as community resources for such activities as feeding programs for the elderly, and provides information on the nutrition program for the elderly authorized by PL 92-258.


Frequently, school feeding facilities are used to provide meal service to persons ineligible £o participate in child nutrition programs. In recent years such facilities are being used, often on a continuing basis, to serve a variety of community purposes such as feeding programs for the elderly. Further, PL 92-258, enacted March 22, 1972, amended the Older Americans Act of 1965 (PL 89-73) and authorized a nutrition program for the elderly under Title VII of the act. This nutrition program is administered at the federal level by the Administration on Aging (AOA) of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), and at the state level, normally through the same state agency that administers other titles of the Older Americans Act, i.e., generally the State Administration on Aging.

The AOA has issued regulations for the nutrition program for the elderly (37 F.R. 16844-50). According co these regulations, project areas for nutrition programs for the elderly are selected, by the state agency based on the number of persons aged 60 or older who have incomes below the poverty nonprofit organizations may be sponsors of project area programs, there is only one sponsor for each project area.payments.

Each project must serve an average of 100 meals daily except that, where justified, fewer meals may be served in rural areas. The projects must serve one hot meal a day for 5 days or more per week except that, where justified, rural area sites may serve meals less than 5 days a week.

The meals are to be served at congregate eating sites or, where necessary, delivered to the home. Each meal must meet one-third of the recommended dietary allowances for elderly persons as established by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. Participants determine for themselves what they can pay for the meals (sponsors establish suggested fees). Sponsors receive Federal funds, either on an advance or reimbursement basis, to pay up to 90 percent of the cost of administering and operating the programs.


The Department believes that school feeding facilities can be effectively used for community purposes such as nutrition programs for the elderly without impairing the effectiveness of USDA assisted child nutrition programs. Of course, if school feeding facilities are so used, state and local officials must make sure that the integrity of the child nutrition programs is maintained and that the use of school facilities for other purposes does not result in failure to meet child nutrition program requirements established by the Department.



Page updated: November 03, 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.