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Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas Q&As

FNS Document #
SFSP 07-2024, SP 13-2024
Resource type
Policy Memos
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (231.03 KB)
DATE:February 21, 2024
POLICY MEMO:SFSP 07-2024, SP 13-2024
SUBJECT:Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas Questions and Answers
TO:Regional Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

This guidance updates previously issued questions and answers to clarify the rural non-congregate summer meals option established through the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the Act) (PL 117-328), and codified through the interim final rulemaking (IFR), Establishing the Summer EBT Program and Rural Non-congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs (88 FR 90230). The Act authorized permanent, non-congregate meal service through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program’s (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO) for rural areas with no congregate meal service. This memorandum and its attachment supersede SFSP 01-2023, SP 05-2023, Implementation Guidance: Summer 2023 Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas – Revised, issued Feb. 28, 2023, and SFSP 07-2023, SP 14-2023, Questions and Answers #2: Summer 2023 Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas, issued April 20, 2023.

Please note that the purpose of this guidance memorandum is to update earlier guidance originally issued for summer 2023 operations, and to ensure consistency with the provisions of the IFR. Future Q&A guidance will address additional implementation topics based on feedback received by state agencies and program stakeholders.

FNS appreciates the exceptional efforts of state agencies and local program operators working to meet the nutritional needs of participants during the summer months. SFSP and SSO rely on innovative and collaborative efforts to provide summer meals to children in need. We look forward to working with our program partners and other stakeholders on the administration and operation of the non-congregate meal service for rural communities.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum to program operators immediately. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their state agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS regional office.

J. Kevin Maskornick
Community Meals Policy Division

Jessica Saracino
Program Monitoring and Operational Support Division


Page updated: April 05, 2024