Summer Non-Congregate Feeding Program

Deadline for Submitting Summer 2024 Non-Congregate Request Form is June 15, 2024

RESOURCES
The request form for eligible SFSP and SSO operators wanting to serve non-congregate summer meals in rural areas this summer is now open and available through June 15. Before submitting the form, all Contracting Entities should complete the following:
  • Using the site mapper, first validate that the intended site is rural and is more than 2 miles away from the next nearest site.
  • Read the newly released FAQs very carefully. Requirements for non-congregate feeding have changed since non-congregate feeding was allowable statewide during the pandemic. Operators should know what is expected of a successful non-congregate site and evaluate its operations to determine if the site can be in compliance. Note that these FAQs serve as the official "handbook" for Summer Non-Congregate service until updates to the official program handbooks can be made.
  • If the site is rural and in good standing, ensure that a site application has been submitted in TX-UNPS prior to submitting the Non-Congregate Request Form. Sites must be approved or conditionally approved within TX-UNPS prior to being approved for non-congregate service.

Operators are encouraged to start preparing now. After reading the FAQs, think about flexibilities that make sense for your site, procedures that must be developed, and strategic site locations. Note that the application process requires more information than years past per guidance from USDA. Please consult with your Education Service Center about any questions you may have after reading through all of TDA's guidance.

New Summer Non-Congregate Forms and Resources Available

Summer operators approved to serve non-congregate meals in rural areas must still adhere to all SFSP or SSO regulations, including monitoring, meal counting and claiming, and participant notification requirements. TDA has released the following new prototype forms to assist summer operators in documenting operational activities related to non-congregate service:

Background

On December 29, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued an interim final rule solidifying the implementation of non-congregate meal service in rural areas through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO). This rule marks a significant step forward in ensuring access to nutritious meals for children residing in remote and underserved regions.

While USDA is accepting comments on this Interim Final Rule through August 27, the regulatory changes in the Interim Rule will be in effect for Summer 2024. Using the infrastructure and data gathered from the Summer Non-Congregate Pilot Program implemented in Summer 2023, as well as lessons learned during the pandemic, TDA has now established a permanent rural non-congregate feeding program and application process that aligns with federal regulation.

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

1. Mail:
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
2. Fax: (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
 
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
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