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