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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 23, 2024
Rural Designations in the SFSP-Revised

Policy Memorandum SFSP 04-2024, SP 06-2024 Rural Designations in the Summer Meal Programs - Revised

The purpose of this memorandum is to revise guidance on rural designations in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO). The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the Act) (P.L. 117-328) authorized a permanent non-congregate meal service option through the SFSP and SSO for children who live in rural communities with no congregate meal service. This memorandum is updated to include revisions to the definition of rural as provided in the interim final rule, Establishing the Summer EBT Program and Rural Non-Congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs, published in the Federal Register on December 29, 2023. The revised definition allows the use of multiple recognized Federal definitions and classifications to designate areas as rural without further USDA approval, as well as the option for State agencies, with Food and Nutrition Service Regional Office (FNSRO) approval, to identify additional pockets that are rural in character based on other data sources. The revised definition will ease administrative burden and streamline the site identification and approval process for State agencies and Program sponsors. In addition, this memorandum highlights the updates made to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Rural Designation Map, a tool available to assist State agencies and sponsors in designating sites as rural. This memorandum supersedes SFSP policy memorandum SFSP 17-2015, Rural Designations in the Summer Food Service Program – Revised, April 21, 2017.

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.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.