USDA has announced new nationwide waivers to grant states additional flexibility for meal service during COVID-19 school closures. These waivers include:
- Nationwide Meal Pattern Waiver: FNS has provided nationwide approval for states to locally waive specific meal pattern requirements as needed to support access to nutritious meals when certain foods are not available due to the novel coronavirus. (Guidance for States on the Meal Pattern Waiver)
- Nationwide Parent/Guardian Meal Pickup Waiver: FNS is allowing states approved for non-congregate feeding to waive the rule preventing parents and guardians from picking up meals for their children, as long as they protect accountability and integrity. (Guidance for States on the Meal Pickup Waiver)
- Nationwide Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Data Waiver: FNS is extending CEP election, notification and reporting and deadlines for School Year 2020-21. (Guidance for States on the CEP Waiver)
For a complete list of nationwide waivers and FNS actions to respond to COVID-19, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/disaster/pandemic/covid-19
In addition, the School Nutrition Association joined numerous allied groups in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service’s (USDA/FNS) leadership to request additional nationwide waivers, including waiving Area Eligibility requirements, to ensure access to healthy meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Association will continue to advocate on behalf of members working to safely serve students during school closures.