USDA Streamlines Operating Summer Meal Programs for 2023
Effective October 1, 2022, "This rulemaking amends the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) regulations to strengthen program integrity by clarifying, simplifying, and streamlining program administration to facilitate compliance with program requirement".
Previously, USDA allowed several program flexibilities or waivers for SFSP, but this new announcement manes them into law. These previous waivers were:
First week site visits
Sponsors in good standing and who have more than 10 sites, now have two weeks to complete initial site visits.
Meal service times
USDA recognizes that many things out of a Sponsor control can happen like delayed delivery, inclement weather, delayed transportation. The existing meal service requirement (that meals must be served within your approved times) is now removed, and instead the flexibility of only needing one hour to elapse between the end of one meal and beginning of another. Additionally, this rule allows a State agency to approve for reimbursement meals served outside of the approved meal service if an unanticipated event occurs.
Offer vs serve
This rule states that only SFA summer meal sponsor can utilize OVS. All other SFSP Sponsors cannot use OVS and must serve all items at meal times.
Eligibility for closed enrolled sites
This rule allows closed enrolled sites to qualify using area eligibility data, in addition to collecting individual income forms to document that at least half of the children being served are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
Offsite Meal Consumption
This rule allows for children to take a single, non perishable item from their meal home. (a fruit, vegetable or grain item).
Streamlining SFSP application process
The new laws also allow for experienced Sponsors operating NSLP and CACFP, to have a streamlined application process for launching a Summer Feeding Program. "In accordance with these memoranda, an SFA or CACFP institution may be considered ‘in good standing’ if it has been reviewed by the State agency in the last 12 months and had no major findings or program violations, or completed and implemented all corrective actions from the last compliance review. In addition, an SFA or CACFP institution may be considered in good standing if it has not been found to be seriously deficient by the State agency in the past two years and has never been terminated from another Child Nutrition Program."
Full Statement: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-20084.pdf