Meal Service Options for School Year 2020-2021

Implementation Support
Policy & Legislation
Program Overview
Best for
School Nutrition Staff

Confused about the waivers for SY20-21? Not sure what your options are for meal service during distance learning or four day school weeks? Check out this resource.


School districts across the country are making decisions about distance learning vs. in-class learning vs. hybrid schedule models, which has significant implications for school meals operations. School nutrition departments must also consider the federal regulations and the limited number of nationwide waivers currently available to determine what their options are.

This resource covers the major schedule models that districts may adopt for the coming school year, the possible meal service models that work for each schedule model, and the program options and waiver considerations for each model.

This resource also breaks down the nationwide waivers available to the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and Child and Adult Care Food Program through June 30, 2021:

  •     Non-Congregate Meal Service Waiver
  •     Meal Service Time Waiver
  •     Parent/Guardian Meal Pick-Up Waiver
  •     Meal Pattern Waiver
  •     Offer Versus Serve Waiver for High Schools

It also walks through the past and current waivers that have not yet been extended through the school year and discusses the limitations and challenges schools will likely face under the current program and waiver options.