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Summary of Current COVID-19 Child Nutrition Program Response Nationwide Waivers and Relief Bills
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The table conveniently details all of the nationwide waivers issued to date by the USDA in response to the coronavirus.

Nationwide Child Nutrition Waivers

For each of the more than 90 nationwide waivers and waiver extensions issued to date, this summary provides the waiver number, the title, programs to which it applies, its release date, the end date, a brief summary of what the waiver does, and additional notes and caveats. It also includes the Q&A memoranda issued by the USDA to provide clarification and additional guidance around the nationwide waivers and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This summary was last updated on 4/21/2021 to include the waivers available to support schools and CACFP operators through School Year 2021-2022. It also includes the earlier guidance for state agencies on reimbursing meals served to young adults through age 24 at CACFP emergency shelters; the waiver allowing SFSP sponsors that operated in FY 2019 to apply this summer as experienced sponsors; the extension of deadlines relating to Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) reporting and election for SY2021-2022; and the extension of eight key summer meals program waivers through summer 2021 operations.

COVID-19 Relief Bills

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, H.R 1319, was enacted into law. Congress passed this $1.9 billion COVID-19 relief legislation to address ongoing economic hardship and food insecurity. This is the 6th relief package since the beginning of the pandemic. This resource is a summary of provisions that are critical to No Kid Hungry's policy and advocacy priorities.

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Pandemic EBT for Children in Schools and Child Care Facilities
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Looking for information on Pandemic-EBT for children in schools and child care facilities?

These resources are based on USDA’s January 29, 2021, guidance to states on implementing the Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) for children in school and child care as authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and extended through September 30, 2021, or School Year 2020-2021 by the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021, and Other Extensions Act (P.L. 116-159), and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (P.L., 116-260).

  • For details on P-EBT for children in school, see our updated FAQ.
  • For details on P-BET for children covered in child care covered facilities, see our FAQ. This option was made available to states following legislation passed by Congress in September 2020 and then amended in December 2020. The USDA released initial guidance to states on January 29, 2021. This FAQ was updated on March 18 to reflect updates made by the American Rescue Plan.

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FAQs on Child Nutrition Program Options During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Looking for information on your options for feeding kids during school closures and through the summer?

Some of the program options changed at the end of the 19-20 school year, but many waivers remained in place. The original FAQ on serving meals during coronavirus-related school and child care closures was overhauled and turned in to a separate resource on serving meals during summer 2020. The original FAQ is still posted here for reference along with the summer 2020 FAQ.

The summer 2020 FAQ answers questions on general program requirements and flexibilities, who is eligible to receive meals, what types or organizations can be a summer meals program sponsor or site, monitoring and visit requirements, menus and meal options, the waiver request process, and the relationship between child nutrition programs and Pandemic EBT.

For guidance related to the 20-21 school year, see the Meal Service Strategies page.

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