Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Meal Eligibility and 30-day carryover for SY 2022-2023

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
7 CFR 245.6(c)(1-2), Eligibility Manual for School Meals
Response Required
Superintendents; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

Primary Contact Information

Memo Text



In accordance with 7 CFR 245.6(c)(1-2) eligibility carryover allows children to maintain their eligibility status from the prior school year for up to 30 operating days into the subsequent school year.  An operating day is defined as a day that reimbursable meals are offered to eligible students under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).


Districts have administered the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) during the regular school year for the last two years and all meals were claimed at the free rate. The transition back to normal NSLP and SBP will restart the requirement for meal eligibility to be established for each student to ensure districts are claiming meals at the required free, reduced, or paid rate.


To ease this transition, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved a waiver allowing school districts in Arkansas to carryover the most recent eligibility established from prior school years 2019-2020, 2020-2021, or 2021-2022.  The carryover will last up to 30 operating days in SY 2022-2023 or until a new eligibility has been established, whichever comes first.  Eligibility determinations may come from a meal application or direct certification through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Homeless, Migrant, Foster, Head Start or Even Start.


Any district wishing to utilize this flexibility must opt in by filling out this FORM and returning to


On the 31st operating day of SY 2022-2023, carryover from previous year(s) will expire. Districts must count and claim meals based on current year eligibility established in those first 30 operating days.


All districts should use the Eligibility Manual for School Meals when determining and verifying eligibility. 


Please contact your Area Specialist for more information at 501-324-9502.


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