School Meal Application, Letter Templates, and Media Release Prototypes for Schools Operating Seamless Summer Option (SSO) in 2021-2022
READ FIRST: Policy for SSO Operators that Intend to Process Applications   
Schools are not required to process applications if operating SSO during SY 2021-2022. However, schools operating SSO may process household applications for child nutrition purposes that include establishing P-EBT eligibility and SY 2022-2023 30-day carryover status per the parameters described below.

Processing Applications to Establish Carryover Eligibility for SY 2022-2023
Schools operating SSO that plan to process household applications in SY 2021-2022 to establish SY 2022-2023 carryover eligibility may do so as long as they adhere to ALL requirements for processing applications in NSLP as outlined in 7 CFR 245, including:
  • Applications and household letters must be distributed to all households of enrolled students. Refer below for a new notification template that explains why households are receiving the application in a year when the school is operating SSO and states that any data submitted on an application will not affect the student receiving free meals in 2021-2022.
  • Verification must occur using a sample size based on the number of approved applications on file as of October 1, 2021.
  • Schools must issue a media release about the application process. Refer below for a new media release template specifically for schools operating SSO that are choosing to process applications in 2021-2022.
  • Schools must notify families of the eligibility determination. Refer below for a new notification template for schools operating SSO in 2021-2022 explaining how this determination will be used (for example, establishing carryover status for SY 2022-2023).

Processing Applications for P-EBT Only
Schools operating SSO that do not wish to process applications in SY 2021-2022 must still provide a household application to any household requesting one as a means to qualify for P-EBT. Under these circumstances, the school must:
  • Provide and process the household application.
  • Conduct required verification activities on any applications processed in this manner using a sample size based on the number of approved applications on file as of October 1, 2021.
  • Notify the household of the application result.

Schools do not have to:
  • Provide applications to all households of enrolled students.
  • Contain in its required media release any information about application availability.
  • Any eligibility data acquired in this manner may be used to establish carryover eligibility for those students in SY 2022-2023.

NOTE: CEP schools may not process household applications at all, even if operating SSO in SY 2021-2022.



New Templates and Resources   
Media Release Prototype for SSO Schools NOT Processing Applications – All SSO schools are required to issue a media release describing the meal program they have chosen to operate and the availability of free meals. This template should be used by schools that are not planning to process household applications in 2021-2022. (Spanish Version).

Media Release Prototype for SSO Schools that Plan to Process Applications in 2021-2022 – Schools wishing to process applications to establish SY 2022-2023 carryover eligibility as described above can use this new template to announce their decision to operate SSO, the availability of free meals in 2021-2022, and reasoning for processing applications in 2021-2022. (Spanish Version).

2021-2022 Application Letter to Household for Schools Operating SSO – The standard Application Letter normally used for NSLP operations has been modified to contain reasoning for processing applications in a school year when all students are eligible for free meals. (Spanish Version).

Letter to Household, 2022-2023 Carryover Eligibility Based on Household Meal Application – The standard Eligibility Letter normally used for NSLP operations has been modified to explain that while all students are eligible for free meals in 2021-2022, eligibility established via the Household Application processed in 2021-2022 will be used to establish eligibility for the first 30 operating days of SY 2022-2023. (Spanish Version).

Direct Certification Eligibility Letter Templates - All districts operating SSO are still required to use the direct certification component in Texas ELMS to identify SNAP, TANF, Medicaid Free, and Medicaid Reduced eligibility once a month when school is in session, and with new student enrollment when appropriate. The requirement to notify households of Direct Certification eligibility has not been waived. However, TDA has created the below Direct Certification household letter templates with language to explain why households are receiving this letter in a school year when all students are eligible for free meals.



Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

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Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), 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.

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Mail:
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