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Rural Non-Congregate Meal Service

Rural Non-Congregate Meal Service Logo

On December 29, 2022, President Biden signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (the Act) (P.L. 117-328). The Act included significant policy changes for Child Nutrition Programs, including the authorization of a permanent, non-congregate meal service through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) for rural areas with no congregate meal service and established the permanent Summer EBT Program beginning in summer 2024. The Summer EBT and Rural Non-congregate Summer Meals Option Interim Final Rule (IFR) was published on December 29, 2023. This interim final rule amends the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO) regulations to codify the flexibility for rural program operators to provide non-congregate meal service in the SFSP and SSO, collectively referred to as the summer meal programs. This rule also establishes regulations and codifies the Summer EBT Program in the Code of Federal Regulations. Because this is an Interim Final Rule, the public is able to provide comments through April 29, 2024. Visit the USDA website for information on how to comment.

Rural Non-congregate Meals in the SFSP - Brief overview.

Interested in Providing Rural Non-Congregate Meals this Summer?

  1. Listen to the 2024 Rural Non-Congregate Meal Service Webinar (previously recorded)
  2. Send us an email at
  3. We'll contact you to discuss and provide next steps!


Rural Designation Map 

Rural Non-Congregate Multiple Meal Counting Form For use when more than one meal is distributed at a time.

Rural Non-Congregate Site Monitoring Form New 1/24