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Rural Designation

State agencies and sponsors may use this tool to determine if a proposed site may be designated as rural for purposes of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), collectively known as the Summer Meal Programs. 

On the map, a location shaded as green indicates a rural area. A location unshaded, meaning not colored green, indicates a non-rural area. 

To determine if your rural location is eligible for the Summer Meal Programs:
  1. Enter your location in the search tool in the upper left corner to find your location.
  2. Use the plus and minus tool or scroll to zoom into the desired location.
  3. The current layer has all the categories of rural. If the address is within a green area, it is considered rural.
  4. You can use the folder button on the upper left side of the map to turn on and off the individual rural categories.

For more information on rural designations in the summer meal programs, see policy memo SFSP 04-2024, SP 06-2024.

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Please note: because of the specificity of using datasets which classify geographical entities below the county level based on population data, in rare instances, some areas on the FNS Rural Designation map (specifically public parks and other discrete spaces located in urban areas where the local population does not reside) may be indicated as rural when in practice they are not. State agencies should not approve sites in such locations for non-congregate service. State agencies should exercise careful judgment to assess whether the proposed site(s) will serve a rural population, and are strongly advised to consult with their FNS regional office regarding any questions related to these potential circumstances.

Page updated: January 22, 2024