Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Use of Upward Bound Applications

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: Summer Food Service Program Operators

Attention: Food Program Director

Number: 04-707

Date: July 2004

Reference: United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) SFSP Policy Memo 04-07

Subject: Use of Upward Bound Applications for Determining Participant Eligibility

Upward Bound Questions and Answers on Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) - Fiscal Year (FY) 2004

We are providing additional guidance regarding the stipulation that an Upward Bound application can be used in lieu of an SFSP meal application to make eligibility determinations. The basis for this is the cited regulatory provision (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations [7 CFR], Section 225.15[f]), which says "Applications are not necessary if other information sources are available and can be used to determine eligibility of individual children in camps or sites."  

Provided below are detailed answers regarding this issue. We believe the answers cover most eligibility situations you may encounter.

In what ways can the Upward Bound application be used in-lieu of the SFSP meal application?

A vast majority of Upward Bound programs operate residential camps for their participants. As you know, camps may be reimbursed only for those meals served to income eligible children. Since not all Upward Bound children meet the SFSP free or reduced-price meal eligibility standard, camps may use the Upward Bound application in-lieu of the SFSP meal application to determine the individual child's eligibility.

Enrolled sites (but not residential camps) that exclusively serve Upward Bound participants may be reimbursed at the free rate for all meals served since Upward Bound requires that a minimum of two thirds of its participants qualify as "low income" participants, which exceeds the 50% requirement of the SFSP.

For enrolled sites that serve both Upward Bound and non-Upward Bound participants, applications must be on file for enough children to meet the 50% threshold. For Upward Bound participants, their application may be accepted in-lieu of the traditional SFSP meal application. For non-Upward Bound participants, the traditional SFSP meal application must be collected and reviewed for eligibility. Then, a combination of Upward Bound and SFSP applications may be used to determine the 50% threshold for determining site eligibility. Should 50% of the children be determined eligible, then all meals may be reimbursed.

The SFSP requires the collection of meal benefit forms on an annual basis while the Upward Bound may collect their application less frequently. If Upward Bound collects their application less frequently than annually, can it still be considered in the current year for SFSP eligibility purposes?

Yes. We acknowledge the fact that Upward Bound applications are taken on a multi-year basis; however, we believe the potential differences in income eligibility between years is negligible and these differences will have a minimal impact on the overall Program.

Do we have the legal right to review Upward Bound applications? (The concern is with regard to privacy issues.)

We are not aware of any restrictions under Upward Bound legislation that would prohibit a State or Federal reviewer from reviewing Upward Bound applications. However, if an Upward Bound program does not believe it can allow a State reviewer to confirm the information contained in their application, then it will need to continue using the SFSP meal application, as in the past.

On a review at an Upward Bound camp site, does the State need to review the Upward Bound application of each child in the same way they would review an SFSP meal application, or could the Upward Bound site provide either a list of eligible children or just certify that they are claiming only income eligible children?

This guidance allows an Upward Bound camp to use the Upward Bound application as a replacement for the SFSP meal application. There is no change in the method of reviewing applications, that is, States need to review each Upward Bound application in the same way they would review an SFSP meal application to determine that it was properly classified as approved or denied.

Does this guidance change any of the document retention requirements for sponsoring organizations as set forth in the regulations at 7 CFR 225.15(c)?

No. All SFSP documentation and record retention requirements remain in effect.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 01, 2023
Related Content
Recently Posted in Nutrition

  • Rural Non-congregate Meals Listening Session (added 11-Apr-2024)
    The CDE will host a Listening Session on Tuesday, April 30 from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm on the rural non-congregate meal service option for summer meal programs.
  • Summer Meals Turnip the Beet Award Winners 2023 (added 09-Apr-2024)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the 2023 Turnip the Beet award winners on March 13, 2024.
  • 2022 KIT $15 Million Funding Award Available (added 09-Apr-2024)
    Announcement regarding the availability of the 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training fund, $15 million residual award amounts, including information on the timing of payment, accounting information, and use of funds.
  • School Lunch Hero Day—May 3, 2024 (added 05-Apr-2024)
    The School Food Hero Day is May 3, 2024. This month is the perfect time to celebrate and recognize the role that food service professionals play in supporting student health, school meals, and learning.
  • S-EBT Notification for CALPADS Administrators (added 04-Apr-2024)
    CALPADS Flash #269 sent on March 19, 2024. This Flash provides information for CALPADS administrators about the process of collecting data for the upcoming 2024 Summer EBT Program (also known as SUNBucks).