Meal Service to On-Track Students at Year-Round Sites
This memorandum sets forth policy with regard to meals served to on-track children at year-round schools. It is a continuation, without any changes, of SFSP Policy Memorandum #9-98, issued on April 10, 1998. This memorandum is effective upon issuance, and will remain in effect until superseded by regulation or future memorandum.
When schools operate on a year-round, or continuous school calendar, the SFSP offers meals throughout the year to pre-school children and off-track students (i.e., year-round students on vacation at times other than the summer) in low-income areas. Recently, this office has received numerous questions concerning the year-round SFSP from administrators in States with large numbers of year-round schools. In particular, these questions have centered on whether year-round SFSP sites may serve school-age children during periods when these children are “on track,” or attending regularly scheduled classes, but are out of school for a short period. In response to these questions, we are issuing the following guidance.
The primary purpose in permitting year-round SFSP at Section 13(c) of the National School Lunch Act was to provide meal service to children in low-income areas during periods when a portion of the student body is on a non-traditional vacation break. When year-round SFSP sites are run as “open sites”--which are open to the entire community and are determined eligible on the basis of area school or census data--it is neither feasible nor required for staff at the year-round site to attempt to ensure that they do not serve meals to on-track students. In fact, during periods when year-round schools are closed for a short period (due to holidays, teacher workdays, etc.), sponsors of year-round sites can reasonably expect to serve meals to some on-track students who are on break, as well as the site’s regular preschool children and off-track students. In such cases, the sponsor should plan for or prepare additional meals and consider the possible need for additional site supervision. Only at enrolled year-round sites are site staff required to restrict the meal service to enrolled preschool children and off-track students.
Nevertheless, sponsors of open year-round SFSP sites located outside of schools must be responsible for establishing prudent operating procedures. When schools themselves serve as year-round SFSP sites, special caution must be exercised to avoid the possibility of the Regional Directors 2 school’s “double-claiming” meals or claiming the higher per-meal SFSP rates for meals served in the School Programs. Schools that operate both the year-round SFSP and the School Programs should establish different meal services for the year-round and on-track populations, keep separate meal counts, and develop cost allocation plans for proper proration of overhead and administrative costs between the programs.