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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

Summer Food Service Program Operators
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Policy Memorandum: SFSP 03-2024, SP 05-2024: Implementation Guidance for the Rural Non-congregate Option Provisions of the Interim Final Rule, Establishing the Summer EBT Program and Rural Non-Congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs

In December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the Act) (P.L. 117-328). The Act amended section 13 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 42 USC 1761, to include the authorization of a permanent, rural non-congregate meal service through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) which the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is extending to the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO). Per the statutory requirement, on December 29, 2023, FNS published an interim final rule,Establishing the Summer EBT Program and Rural Non-congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs.This rulemaking, effective December 29, 2023, codified the permanent rural non-congregate summer meal service for both SFSP and SSO, as well as created the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children Program (Summer EBT).While non-congregate summer meal service for rural areas was initially implemented through FNS guidance during summer 2023, that guidance is superseded by the interim final rule. 

This memorandum includes an attachment highlighting key information on the new regulatory requirements for non-congregate summer meal service in rural areas. The attachment: 
•    Reviews previously applicable regulatory requirements, 
•    Specifies previously applicable FNS guidance, (including summer 2023 initial implementation guidance), and  
•    Details the regulatory changes effected by the interim final rule. 

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.

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  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:

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