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Indiana Department of Education Shares Federal Meal Program Updates for Schools and Local Organizations

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  • Current: Indiana Department of Education Shares Federal Meal Program Updates for Schools and Local Organizations

IDOE Encourages Participation in Seamless Summer Option Meal Program and Outlines Income Eligibility Guidelines for the Child and Adult Care Food Program

Friday, September 10, 2021

Holly Lawson
Deputy Director of Communications
(317) 232-0536

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announces several updates issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

National School Lunch Program SSO
Schools are encouraged to participate in the National School Lunch Program SSO. While typically only available during summer months, the USDA has issued an extension for the SSO meal program waiver, allowing participating schools to serve free meals on school days for the duration of the 2021-2022 school year. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for the meals they serve if they participate in the SSO option. Participating schools choosing the SSO will be able to serve free meals through June 30, 2022.

Schools operating under COVID-19 safety protocols will still be able to serve meals using the SSO waiver, as it includes a broad range of flexibilities when serving meals that enable social distancing and additional COVID-19 precautions. Schools must apply to and receive approval from IDOE to operate under SSO or any other flexibility waivers.

Learn more about the SSO here.

Eligibility Requirements for Free and Reduced Price Meals
For local organizations serving meals where the SSO is not applicable, the USDA has released updates to the income and eligibility guidelines for participants receiving free and reduced price meals. The updated income eligibility guidelines are effective from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

Individuals qualifying for free and reduced price meals at CACFP-participating organizations, such as day care facilities, family day care homes and adult day care centers, are required to submit one application per household. Applications may be submitted any time, and all information is kept confidential.

Individuals participating in the following programs or who are members of the following groups are automatically eligible for free and reduced price meal benefits:

  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or Food Stamps in Indiana)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) (adult day care)
  • Medicaid Participants (adult day care)
  • Foster Children
  • Children enrolled in Head Start, At-Risk Afterschool Center, or an Emergency Shelter

View the updated income eligibility guidelines for the Child and Adult Care Food Program here.

View all institutions currently participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program here.

To learn more about USDA Nutrition Assistance Programs, click here.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement
In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.  

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the agency (state or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture 
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

fax: (202) 690-7442; or 


This institution is an equal opportunity provider.