Interim Final Rule on Non-Congregate Summer Meals: Top Takeaways for Operators

In December 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 authorized a permanent option for non-congregate summer meals in rural areas without congregate service. The law permitted USDA to issue temporary guidance based on past work to support implementation in 2023. Then, as required by law, on December 29, 2023, USDA issued its Interim Final Rule (IFR): Establishing the Summer EBT Program and Rural Non-Congregate Option in the Summer Meal Programs. The IFR takes immediate effect to guide Summer 2024 operations.

Implementing non-congregate service is an exciting opportunity to expand the reach of summer meals and provide more children with much-needed nutrition during the summer months. This resource summarizes the top takeaways for program operators and highlights some key differences from 2023 guidance.

Related: Summary of the Non-Congregate Summer Meals IFR

Looking for all of the details? See our related resource, USDA Interim Final Rule Summary: Non-Congregate Summer Meals.