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Site Selection Criteria During Sponsor and Site Reviews in the SFSP

May 25, 2023

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Summary 

This memo addresses site selection criteria during Sponsor and Site Reviews in the Summer Food Service Program. This memorandum applies to State agencies administering, and local organizations operating, the Summer Food Service Program. 

Why It Matters 

The Final Rule: Streamlining Program Requirements codified changes to the regulations that will simplify the application process, enhance monitoring requirements, clarify existing requirements, and provide more discretion at the State agency level to manage Program operations. To ensure compliance with Program regulations, State agencies must conduct reviews of sponsors and sites for the SFSP. 

Guidance 

On September 19, 2022, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the Final Rule: Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the SFSP. The rule amended Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) regulations to strengthen Program integrity by clarifying, simplifying, and streamlining Program administration to facilitate compliance with Program requirements. Through the rule, USDA codified changes to the regulations that will simplify the application process, enhance monitoring requirements, clarify existing requirements, and provide more discretion at the State agency level to manage Program operations. Compliance with the provisions of this rule must begin by May 1, 2023 (except for those State agencies that have an approved waiver for implementation by January 1, 2024). 

To ensure compliance with Program regulations, State agencies must conduct reviews of sponsors and sites for the SFSP. As part of the required sponsor review, State agencies must review at least 10 percent of a selected sponsor’s sites, or one (1) site, whichever is greater. For example, if a sponsor has 13 sites, the State agency must review two (2) sites, at a minimum. In determining which sites to review, State agencies must develop criteria for site selection. State agencies should, to the maximum extent possible, select sites that reflect the sponsor's entire population of sites. Considerations for site selection should reflect the following characteristics as listed at 7 CFR 225.7(e)(5)(i): 

  • The maximum number of meals approved to serve under 225.6(h)(1) and (2) 
  • Method of obtaining meals (i.e., self-preparation or vended meal service) 
  • Time since last site review by the State agency 
  • Type of site (e.g., open, closed enrolled, camp) 
  • Type of physical location (e.g., school, outdoor area, community center) 
  • Rural designation (i.e., rural, as defined in 7 CFR225.2, or non-rural) 
  • Affiliation with the sponsor, as defined in 7 CFR225.2. 

Additional criteria may be used in conjunction with the characteristics listed above; some examples include but are not limited to sponsor recommendations, previous audit or review findings, and potential errors in daily meal counts such as identical or similar claiming patterns and large changes. State agencies may also consider the site’s previous participation in the SFSP, current and previous Program performance, and results from prior reviews. In addition, in rural areas, whether sites provide congregate or non-congregate meal service should be considered.  

State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum to Program operators. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their respective State agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS Regional Office. 

 

Read the full Guidance on Site Selection Criteria during Sponsor and Site Reviews in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP-08-2023).