ATTENTION SUPERINTENDENTS, PRINCIPALS, AND CHILD NUTRITION DIRECTORS
Department of Education, Division of Elementary and Secondary Education, Child
Nutrition Unit (CNU) continues to offer two options for School Food Authorities
(SFAs) to feed students after the regular school year ends and summer begins.
All SFAs have been
approved to continue administering the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) through
June 30, 2021 utilizing all waivers opted in during the 2020-2021 regular
school year. As a reminder, these
waivers expire June 30, 2021, so if the SFA would like to continue feeding after
June 30, 2021, the following options are available.
Option 1 – Regular
Summer Meal Program available to begin July 1, 2021:
SFAs operating an
academic summer school may use the Regular summer meals program. All
existing breakfast, lunch and/or afterschool snack program(s) may continue
throughout the summer months using eligibility determinations established in
the 2020-2021 school year. The Regular summer meals program may be operated by
any public school regardless of the percentage of children receiving free and
reduced-price meals. Meals must be
claimed according to the meal status of the student; therefore, the claim may
include free, reduced, and paid meals for reimbursement.
SFAs must follow the
meal pattern requirements for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School
Breakfast Program (SBP), and/or Afterschool Snack Program (ASSP).
How to apply: SFAs interested in operating Option 1 must contact their Area
Specialist for further details.
Option 2 –SSO to
continue past July 1, 2021:
SFAs operating summer
feeding may also apply for SSO. An
academic or enrichment component is not required under SSO. Two meal programs
may be administered and all meals are allowed to be claimed at the free rate if
the SFA is determined to be area eligible. In order for a site to be determined
area eligible, school data must indicate that the proposed meal site is located
in the attendance area of a school where at least 50 percent of the children
are eligible for free or reduced price school meals.
Area eligibility is determined using
school data for meal status submitted in the most recent Cycle 2 report or
through census data.
For Census Bureau data visit http://www.census.gov/acs.
For map using census data visit http://www.fns.usda.gov/areaeligibility.
SFAs must follow the
meal pattern requirements for the NSLP, SBP, and/or ASSP.
How to apply: SFAs interested in operating Option 2 must contact their Area
Specialist for further details.
CNU will review and approve a C-21
for each site administering meal service.
Option 3: Arkansas
Department of Human Services (DHS), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP):
A third option is
available to SFAs interested in administering a summer feeding program. The
SFSP program is administered by the DHS, Special Nutrition Program.
You may contact the
Special Nutrition Program for further details at 501-682-8869. Online
applications are available at the Special Nutrition Program website.
The deadline for the
DHS, SFSP application is April 30, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.
If two or more
applicants apply to serve summer meals to children in the same area, the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulation 7 CFR 225.6 (b)(5) specifies
the State Agency must use a priority system in approving applicants.
After June 30, 2021, CNU
will not allow SFAs to claim meals without an approved C-21. Please allow up to two weeks for approval.
According to USDA
guidance issued in policy memo SP 09-2017, CNU cannot approve SSO or Regular summer meals program
participation in school district programs that have unresolved program
administration issues such as school breakfast, lunch, or snack program
violations documented by Administrative Review (AR) or Legislative Audit
SFAs that contract
with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC) may allow the FSMC to utilize
options offered during the summer months if the approved FSMC contract allows. SFAs should be reminded
that the SFA maintains responsibility for submitting claims and is accountable
for ensuring that all rules and regulations are followed.
All SFAs are required to inform their constituents of summer meal
programs that are available even if there are no programs available in the
immediate area. Schools
and sponsors are encouraged to make use of USDA Food and Nutrition Service
(FNS) resources, including the “SFSP Outreach Toolkit for Sponsors and Sites,”
which includes fliers, letters to parents, and other materials that help
sponsors raise awareness of the Program among children and their families. The
Outreach Toolkit can be found at https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-meals-toolkit.
Additional USDA FNS
resources, including fliers, door hangers, public service radio announcements,
and training videos are available at http://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/raise-awareness.
Contact your Area Specialist via email or at 501-324-9502 for further
CNU Schedule C-21
USDA Memo SP 09-2017 – 2017 Edition of Questions and Answers for the National School
Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option
USDA Memo SP 08-2017 – Area Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs;
USDA Memo SP 10-2017 – Meal Service Requirements in the Summer Meal Programs, with
Questions and Answers - Revised