Successful Non-Congregate Meal Service Models for Rural Areas: Implementation Guide
In approved states beginning summer 2023, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sponsors can operate non-congregate programs in rural communities without access to a congregate meal site.
For more information, check out USDA's guidance:
- USDA's Implementation Guidance for Summer 2023 Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas
- Q&A #2: Summer 2023 Non-Congregate Meal Service in Rural Areas
- Offering Multiple Meals as Part of the Non-Congregate Meal Service
This resource outlines effective models for non-congregate meal service. Use this guide to find strategies and tactics to execute a successful non-congregate summer meals program in your rural community.
Please reach out to your state agency to confirm the availability of non-congregate meal service and allowable models. Note: States are not required to make the non-congregate option available this summer. State agencies had to submit a plan to USDA for approval by April 1, 2023 to allow non-congregate meal service in summer 2023.
This resource includes:
- Important definitions related to non-congregate meal service and rural areas
- Considerations for non-congregate meal service
- Meal service models (descriptions, tips, and considerations)
- Drive-thru or crubside pick-up
- Walk-up distributions
- Mobile route distributions
- Direct home delivery
- Logistical considerations including equipment lists
- Communication strategies
- Tips for partnerships
- Summer Meals