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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 Sponsors
Paula Tyner-Doyle, Coordinator
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Tax Exempt Status for Private Nonprofit Organizations and Churches in the Summer Food Service Program

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. 

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.