Summer Food Service Program Meal Site TypesThis management bulletin provides guidance for sponsors of the SFSP with regard to meal site types. Sponsors may operate the SFSP at one or more sites where meals are served and children consume meals in a supervised setting.
Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information
To: Summer Food Service Program Sponsors
Attention: Food Service and Program Directors
Date: March 2019
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Policy Memorandum SFSP 01-2019 Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Memoranda Rescission, USDA Policy Memo SFSP 03-2017 Area Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs, USDA Policy Memo SFSP 05-2017 SFSP Questions and Answers
Subject: Summer Food Service Program Meal Site Types
This management bulletin provides guidance for sponsors of the SFSP in regard to meal site types. Sponsors may operate the SFSP at one or more sites, which are the physical locations where meals are served and children consume meals in a supervised setting. These site types are defined in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 225.2.
Eligible sites are those that serve children in low-income areas or those that serve specific groups of low-income children. Sponsors must provide documentation that demonstrates that proposed sites meet the income eligibility criteria required by law. There are three common types of sites: open sites including restricted-open sites, camps (residential and nonresidential), and closed-enrolled sites.
Open sites are meal sites where meals are available to any child in the community. Open sites are located in needy areas where 50 percent or more of the children residing in the area are eligible for free or reduced-price (F/RP) school meals. Meals are made available to all children in the area on a first-come, first-served basis. Participant enrollment is not necessary at an open site.
An open site may be classified as a restricted-open site if a sponsor chooses to restrict or limit the site’s attendance for reasons of security, safety, or control. This site type may not be selected as a matter of preference or be used as an option for summer schools. Restricted-open sites may only be used based on legitimate control issues (for example, due to a limited number of summer staff) or safety concerns (such as construction taking place in certain areas of site location) requiring limiting access to the site. Meals at this site type must be offered on a first come, first served basis and sponsors must demonstrate the need for this option to the satisfaction of the California Department of Education (CDE).
Eligibility for open and restricted-open sites can be determined through any of the following methods:
- Area eligibility, including Census Block Group data or school data
- Area eligibility through documentation from other approved data sources including:
- Departments of welfare
- Zoning commissions
- USDA’s Rural Development housing authorities
- Housing and Urban Development (HUD) housing authorities
- Local housing authorities
- Migrant organizations
- Tribal authorities
- Departments of welfare
For more information on eligibility of open and restricted-open site types, please refer to USDA Policy Memo SFSP 03-2017 Area Eligibility in Child Nutrition Programs.
Camps are sites that offer regularly scheduled food service along with organized activities for enrolled residential or day campers. Unlike open and restricted-open sites, sponsors of both residential and nonresidential camps do not have to establish area eligibility. However, they must collect and maintain individual income eligibility applications. Camps are reimbursed only for those enrolled children who meet the F/RP meals eligibility standards.
For more information on camp site application requirements please refer to 7 CFR, Section 225.15(f).
Closed-enrolled sites are sites which serve only enrolled children, as opposed to the community at large, and in which at least 50 percent of the enrolled children at the site are eligible for F/RP school meals. Closed-enrolled sites must also establish their eligibility through the individual income eligibility of the children attending the site. This can be achieved by either:
- Obtaining aggregate data certifying eligibility status of enrolled children for F/RP meals from schools where the children receive meals under the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program
- Requesting that parents or guardians of enrolled children complete an income eligibility form
Per USDA Policy Memo SFSP 01-2019 SFSP Memoranda Rescission, using area eligibility to qualify a closed-enrolled site is no longer allowed. For more information on closed-enrolled site application requirements please refer to 7 CFR, Section 225.15(f).
Online mapping and other data tools can be used to locate high-need eligible areas and potential sites, such as libraries, schools, museums, and low-income housing units. The USDA offers a list of tools that can be used to identify potential service sites on their SFSP Mapping Tools web page at https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/mapping-tools-summer-meal-programs. When sponsors have chosen their prospective sites, they must notify their local health department in writing of all prospective site locations and arrange for prompt and regular trash removal.
The CDE is required under federal regulations to ensure that all program sponsors accurately report their site type in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) SFSP site application. If a program sponsor incorrectly reports their site type, the CDE will disallow all meals served at that site. Therefore, it is important for sponsors to seek assistance from their Summer Meal Programs (SMP) Specialist if they are unsure what site type they must indicate in their CNIPS SFSP site application.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Community Nutrition Programs Administration Office Technician by phone at 916-324-6153, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to be directed to your SMP Specialist.