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Interim Final Rule: Establishing the Summer EBT Program and Rural Non-Congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs

Publication Date
Resource type
Federal Register Documents
Interim Final Rule
Comment Period End Date


The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to make available an option to states to provide summer meals for non-congregate meal service in rural areas with no congregate meal service and to establish a permanent summer electronic benefits transfer for children program (Summer EBT) for the purpose of ensuring continued access to food when school is not in session for the summer.

This interim final rule amends the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO) regulations to codify the flexibility for rural program operators to provide non-congregate meal service in the SFSP and SSO, collectively referred to as the summer meal programs. This rule also establishes regulations and codifies the Summer EBT Program in the Code of Federal Regulations.


Effective date: This rule is effective Dec. 29, 2023.

Comment date: To be considered, written comments on this interim final rule must be received on or before April 29, 2024.

Request for Comments

The Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, invites interested persons to submit written comments on this interim final rule. Comments may be submitted in writing by one of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Send comments to Community Meals Policy Division, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, 1320 Braddock Place, Alexandria, VA 22314.

All written comments submitted in response to this interim final rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public. Please be advised that the substance of the comments and the identity of the individuals or entities submitting the comments will be subject to public disclosure. USDA will make the written comments publicly available on the Internet via

Page updated: December 29, 2023