THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
This memorandum provides updated guidance and clarification regarding the eligibility of private nonprofit organizations and churches seeking participation as sponsors in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). This memorandum supersedes the September 29, 1999 policy memorandum: Guidance on Tax Exempt Status for Churches in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. Please note that all nonprofit organizations, including churches, must fulfill all application requirements and demonstrate financial and administrative capability for SFSP operations in order to participate in the Program. This memo addresses only the requirement relating to tax exempt status.
Private nonprofit organizations in the SFSP must have tax exempt status under the IRC (Internal Revenue Code of 1986). For the purpose of SFSP participation by private nonprofit organizations, only Federal tax exempt status pursuant to the IRC is relevant. Generally, the IRC requires private nonprofit organizations to apply for and receive documentation of tax exempt status. However, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance provides that under certain circumstances, a church is considered automatically tax exempt under the IRC and is not required to apply for the IRS document verifying that is has tax exempt status (Form 1023). Therefore, for purpose of participation in SFSP, churches are not required to provide the New York State Education Department with IRS Form 1023 as documentation of tax-exempt status.