Skip to main content


Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Friday, October 23, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions for the 30% NYS Initiative during the 2020- 2021 School Year

This guidance was prepared jointly by the New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

On October 9, 2020, the US Department of Agriculture announced that it is extending waivers to allow School Food Authorities (SFAs) the option of being reimbursed under the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through June 30, 2021. The Questions and Answers in this memorandum provide clarification regarding the 30% New York State (NYS) Initiative during the 2020-2021 School Year (SY) given the options that SFAs have to participate in the SFSP and the SSO of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) to provide access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to the novel corona virus during the 2020-2021 SY.

More information on the 30% NYS Initiative.


1. Q: Will SFAs who qualified for the 30% NYS Initiative reimbursement receive reimbursement for meals served in the SFSP during the 2020-2021 SY?

A: No. Lunch meals served through the SFSP are not eligible to receive the 30% NYS Initiative. The current state law and appropriation language provides reimbursement for NSLP lunch meals, not SFSP. This has been the case since the start of the Initiative. 

Also, SFSP lunch reimbursement rates are significantly higher than NSLP/SSO lunch reimbursement rates. The table below shows the reimbursement rates of NSLP/SSO lunches with the additional 30% NYS Initiative funding and the current SFSP lunch reimbursement rate. SFAs that operate the SFSP receive between $.49 and $3.67 more per lunch than NSLP/SSO rates with the Initiative reimbursement. 

Lunch Per Meal Reimbursement Rates (Federal and State Rates combined)

Under 60%
w/30% NYS
Over 60%
w/30% NYS
Free 3.83 3.6599 4.3286


(NSLP only)

3.68 3.70 N/A


(NSLP only)

.65 .67 N/A

*All SSO lunch meals are reimbursed at the applicable NSLP free rate

2. Q: Will the cost of NYS food products served at lunch during the 2020-2021 SY at sites operating the SFSP contribute to the SFA’s NYS food purchases for 2021-2022 Initiative funding?

A: Yes. The cost of NYS food products served at lunch at SFSP sites during the 2020-2021 SY are allowable purchases for the 2021-2022 SY 30% Initiative. This will enable all SFAs to use preceding year purchases to qualify for the 30% NYS Initiative funding in the 2021-2022 SY, regardless of the meal program used in 2020-2021. SFAs operating the SFSP during the 2020-2021 SY are encouraged to continue purchasing NYS food products.

3. Q: How will the 30% Calculation Tool and application be modified to include SFSP lunch revenues?

A: SFAs can use the following calculation for SY 2021-2022 to project the amount of eligible purchases needed to participate in the 30% Initiative and receive additional funding in the 2021-2022 SY. This same calculation will be used in the 2021-2022 30% NYS Initiative Application for SFAs to report data from the 2020-2021 SY. Bolded areas denote where SFSP reimbursement has been added to the calculation for the purposes of SY 2020-2021 reporting.

Step One: Calculate Total 2020-2021 School Year Food Cost Percentage:

Total Food Cost of all food purchased July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021*(breakfast, lunch, snack, a la carte, SSO, SFSP, etc.)
(All Federal Reimbursement + All State Reimbursement+ All Sales) **
= Total Food Cost Percentage

*Do not include inventory leftover from the 2019-2020 school year or purchases made in 2021-2022.
**All federal and state reimbursement and sales includes reimbursement for all Child Nutrition Programs such as National School Lunch/Snack/SSO, School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program.

Step Two: Report 2020-2021 School Year Income from Reimbursable Lunches:

  2020-2021 Lunch federal reimbursement
(NSLP, SSO lunch, SFSP lunch September 2020-June 2021)
  2020-2021 Lunch state reimbursement
(NSLP, SSO lunch, SFSP lunch September 2020 - June 2021)
+ 2020-2021 sale of reimbursable Lunch meals (paid NSLP meals)
= Total Income from Reimbursable Lunches

Step Three: Calculate Food Cost for Lunch

  Total Income from Reimbursable Lunches (from Step 2)
X Total Food Cost Percentage (from Step 1)
= Food Cost for Lunch

Step Four: Calculate 30% of Lunch Costs

  Food Cost for Lunch (from Step 3)
X .30
= 30% of Lunch Costs



4. Q: Will SFAs who qualified to receive 30% NYS Initiative funding in the 2020-2021 SY and are participating in the SSO receive the additional reimbursement for SSO lunches claimed?
A: Yes. If an SFA approved for the Initiative elects to operate the SSO during the 2020-2021 SY, the SFA will receive the 30% NYS Initiative reimbursement for each SSO lunch claimed.

5. Q: Do all NYS food products served in reimbursable SSO lunch meals during the 2020-2021 SY contribute to the cost of NYS food products for 2021-2022 SY Initiative funding?
A: Yes. SFAs operating the SSO at the beginning of the 2020-2021 SY are encouraged to continue purchasing NYS food products.

SFAs can contact the New York State Education Department via email at
Farmers, processors, and other vendors can contact the Department of Agriculture and Markets via email at

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.