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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

SFSP Program Operators
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Friday, February 23, 2024
Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas Q&A

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) (P.L. 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 February 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.

Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas Questions & Answers

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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