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Area Eligibility for Summer 2022 and SY 2022–23

On May 12, 2022, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued Policy Memorandum SP 10–2022, CACFP 08–2022, SFSP 04–2022: Area Eligibility for Summer 2022 and School Year 2022–2023. You can view this policy memo on the USDA School Meals Policy web page at Area Eligibility for Summer 2022 and School Year 2022–23 External link opens in new window or tab..

The policy memo provides guidance to local educational agencies as they transition from COVID-19 Nationwide waivers related to establishment of area eligibility in the Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) for summer 2022 and school year (SY) 2022–23. This guidance applies to the National School Lunch Program’s (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and Afterschool Meal Supplement (AMS), the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program at-risk afterschool and family day care homes.

In SY 2021–2022, schools participating in SSO under nationwide waiver #85 did not collect free and reduced-price applications, and instead served all students free meals due to the impacts of COVID-19. As a result, schools do not have complete free and reduced-price eligibility information to make area eligibility determinations for summer 2022 and SY 2022–2023. Therefore, the USDA is offering two additional data options that sites may use to qualify as area eligible for summer 2022 and SY 2022–2023. Both options are available to CNP operators as applicable, including school sites and non-school sites, who wish to use school data to make area eligibility determinations. Please note, these options are not available for sites located in the attendance area of schools that operated NSLP in SY 2021–2022. Sites that are (1) located in the attendance areas of schools that operated regular NSLP in SY 2021–2022 and (2) require a new area eligibility determination (i.e., 5 years have elapsed since area eligibility was last established), must use SY 2021–2022 application and direct certification data to establish area eligibility.

Option 1: Use of School year 2019–20 Free and Reduced-Price Meal (FRPM) Data

Program operators may use school data from school year 2019–20 to qualify as area eligible in summer 2022 and school year 2022–23. If a site qualifies using this option, please note this area eligibility determination is only effective through summer 2024 and school year 2024–25. To determine eligibility for your school site please visit the CDE’s Free or Reduced-Price Meal (Student Poverty) Data web page.

Option 2: Allow All Schools to Use Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data

Program operators may use site specific identified student percentage (ISP) data to qualify. If the product of a site’s ISP multiplied by 1.6 is equal to, or greater than 50 percent, the site is area eligible. For sites currently approved to operate the CEP, the individual site’s established ISP must be used. For sites not currently approved to operate CEP, a calculation of your site’s ISP must be provided to confirm eligibility. This calculation must include the total number of enrolled students at the school site and the number of students directly certified for free meals, or certified as homeless, migrant, runaway, foster or Head Start. For more information on calculating the ISP, please visit the CDE’s CEP online training External link opens in new window or tab.. If a site qualifies using this option, please note this eligibility is only effective through summer 2022 and school year 2022–23.

Please note, program operators must reach out to their respective county’s School Nutrition Program (SNP) or SFSP Specialist prior to utilizing either of these flexibilities.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding the SSO, please contact your county’s SNP Specialist. A list of SNP Specialists is available on the CDE’s SNP Specialist Directory web page. You can also email to request the contact information for your assigned SNP Specialist.

If you have any questions regarding the SFSP, please contact your agency’s SFSP Analyst. The SFSP Analyst Contact List is located in the CNIPS External link opens in new window or tab. Download Forms section Form ID CNP-01 SFSP, or contact the Summer Meals Unit by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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