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Site Type, Eligibility, and Outreach Requirements

Information to establish specific types of Seamless Summer Option sites. This document also provides outreach criteria for the different types of sites.

Additional information about the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) may be obtained in the Administrative Guidance Handbook that can be downloaded from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) SFSP Program Guidance web page External link opens in new window or tab..

No site may be established to serve only summer school students receiving academic credits or to serve only children who are enrolled for childcare.

Site Types

Open Site

Provide area eligibility data that demonstrates that the site is located in a needy area. Needy area means that the site is located where 50 percent or more of the children residing in the area are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. Area eligibility may be documented through:

  • School data that indicates that the proposed meal site is located in a school attendance area where at least 50 percent of the children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals
  • Census data
  • Housing authority documentation
  • County social services documentation
  • Other appropriate sources demonstrating that the site is in a needy area

Open sites must make meals available to all children.

Restricted-Open Site

Same requirement as Open sites. Agencies may request this type of site after experiencing safety, security, or control problems. This type of site remains open to the community at large and continues to conduct outreach activities. This type of open site allows all children equal opportunity to receive meals on a first come first serve basis. A written justification is required when requesting this type of site.

Migrant Open Site

Provide certification that at least 50 percent of the children are from families of migrant farm workers. Certification must be from a migrant organization.

Migrant Closed-Enrolled Site

Provide certification that the site only serves children of migrant farm workers. Certification must be from a migrant organization.

National Youth Sports Program (NYSP) Site

Determine that 50 percent of the children enrolled reside in a geographical area where poor economic conditions exist. Determine that 50 percent of the children enrolled meet the income eligibility guidelines for free or reduced-price meals, or certify in writing that the NYSP meets the income eligibility guidelines of the Department of Health and Human Services (primary grantor).

Closed-Enrolled Site in Needy Area

As of October 2018, sponsors must use individual application forms of enrolled children to qualify the site. At least 50 percent of the children must meet the low-income requirements for free and reduced-price meals.

Closed-Enrolled Site in a Non-needy Area

Sponsors must provide the enrollment projections to demonstrate that 50 percent of the children enrolled are eligible to receive free or reduced-price school meals. The information may be obtained by collecting individual applications or by obtaining the school district’s certification that at least 50 percent of the children on the list are eligible to receive free or reduced-price meals. The certification must be from a single district only. The school district may not identify participant’s eligibility status.

Camp site

Collect and categorize income eligibility applications. The information must be maintained and made available for the Nutrition Services Division reviewer. Only meals served to children who qualify for free or reduced-price school meals may be claimed under the Seamless Summer Option.


Open Types of Sites

Must have a large banner or marquee demonstrating that the meal service is available to all children in the community. Other reasonable outreach efforts to the community at large must also be conducted.

Closed-Enrolled Sites in Needy Areas

Must conduct outreach in the immediate area only.

Closed-Enrolled Sites in Non-needy Areas

Must conduct outreach to the community at large. The outreach information must provide the income eligibility scale and be distributed throughout the community.

Camp Sites

Are not required to conduct outreach activities.

Questions:   Summer Meals Unit | | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, March 4, 2022
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