Policy Memo 135

DOH-CACFP: Number 135 (07/09)

TO: CACFP Sponsoring Organizations of Day Care Homes

FROM: Lynne Oudekerk, Acting State Director, Child and Adult Care Food Program

SUBJECT: The Summer Food Service Program and CACFP

I. Purpose and Scope

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to children, 18 years and under, in low-income areas during the summer school vacation. The SFSP helps low-income children get the nutrition they need throughout the summer months when school is out. CACFP is aware that some family day care home (FDCH) Providers take their day care children to a SFSP site for the free meals. If a FDCH Provider brings the day care children to a SFSP site, that meal cannot also be claimed in CACFP. This memo provides information and guidance on how to address dual participation in SFSP and CACFP.

II. Background Information

  1. The SFSP is administered by the Food and Nutrition Service of USDA at the Federal level and by the NYS Education Department in New York State. At the local level SFSP feeding sites can be operated by schools, government agencies, camps, or private nonprofit organizations.
    1. The types of SFSP sites include:
      • Open sites: all children eat free in communities where at least 50% of the children are eligible for free/reduced price school meals (Tier 1 areas). Public schools often operate open sites.
      • Restricted Open sites: sites that meet the open site criteria, explained above, but are restricted for safety, control or security reasons.
      • Closed Enrolled sites: these may be in any community for low-income children who are specifically enrolled at the site. The site must meet the 50% criteria for children eligible for free and reduced price school lunch.
      • Migrant sites: these sites only serve children of migrant farm workers.
      • Camps: residential and non-residential camps that offer regularly-scheduled food service as part of an organized program for enrolled children.
    2. SFSP meal service locations may be in schools, churches, parks, community centers, housing projects, playgrounds, pools and other public sites where children gather. FDCH Providers may take the day care children to open or open restricted sites for lunch or snacks.
    3. SFSP meals and snacks are provided free of charge to all who attend and are served on-site or sometimes available as a take-out bagged lunch. Attendance is not taken at the open sites, so there is not a record of who attends.
  2. FDCH Providers participating in CACFP are not prohibited from taking their day care children to a SFSP site but the meal or snack cannot be claimed in CACFP.
    1. Sponsors of FDCH must be pro-active to prevent dual participation in CACFP and the SFSP. We recommend Sponsors take the following steps:
      • Become familiar with the SFSP sites in your service area. For a list of open SFSP sites located at schools, go to:
      • Tell the FDCH Providers they cannot claim in CACFP if they use a SFSP site for meals and snacks for the day care children.
    2. FDCH Providers who claim meals in CACFP that were obtained from a SFSP site must be named seriously deficient for false claiming. As always, meals claimed that are not supplied by the FDCH Provider must be disallowed.

III. Summary of Changes

The SFSP provides free, nutritious meals and snacks to low-income children during the summer school vacation. FDCH Providers cannot claim meals they have obtained from SFSP sites in CACFP. Sponsors must be aware that the potential for dual participation in these two programs exists. Steps can be taken by Sponsors to prevent dual claiming as outlined in this memorandum. Please contact a Homes Unit Nutritionist at 1-800-942-3858, ext. 27104 if you have any questions.