Meeting Student Needs and Your Bottom Line in SY21-22: Waivers and Program Options for Schools

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Learn how to maximize the reach of your school nutrition operations during SY21-22 and ensure that all students have the nutritious food they need to learn.


The past year has shown how important school meals are to meeting students’ needs. And not only do meals support students’ health and academic achievement, they can foster community and connection after a challenging year. Help your students learn and re-engage in School Year 2021-2022 by taking advantage of waiver flexibilities and planning your school nutrition operations to ensure that all kids get the food they need. As an added bonus, maximizing the reach of your operations can help your school nutrition department recover financially from the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This resource covers the USDA's nationwide COVID-19 response waivers available for SY21-22. Based on those available flexibilities, it then summarizes the program options available to schools by day and time (during the school day, after school, weekends and other non-school days, and unanticipated closures). It also addresses some possible service models that will best meet student needs. In addition, it highlights how two districts are planning their operations for the 21-22 school year.