USDA Publishes Final Rule Amending Summer Food Service Program

Date: September 20, 2022 Posted by Linnea Mail Twitter Facebook

USDA SFSP Final Rule Blog-1.png

Earlier this week, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule updating the regulations for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). Its primary purpose is to provide free, nutritious meals to children and teens under age 18 from low-income areas during periods when schools are not in session.

Effective October 1, 2022, USDA is implementing regulatory changes to the SFSP regulations that simplify program requirements for program operators, improve the customer experience for participating children and families, and strengthen the integrity of the program. Many provisions codified through this final rule were previously allowed as program flexibilities due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are demonstrated to facilitate program administration and service delivery for children and their families.

Although this final rule primarily affects the SFSP, it also makes changes to the regulations related to waiver authority for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

So, what exactly has changed?

  • Make permanent operational flexibilities that have been demonstrated to work well in the SFSP while decreasing administrative paperwork burdens.
  • Give sponsors the ability to focus their program oversight and technical assistance on sites that need it most.
  • Ease redundant requirements for high performing, experienced program operators through a streamlined application process.
  • Provide local control of meal service times and allow children to take one non-perishable item offsite to eat later.
  • End confusion around important standards and requirements by clarifying performance standards, program definitions, and other program requirements.

Compliance with the provisions of this rule must begin May 1, 2023.  More details can be found here

Category: Summer Meals