Summary of Current COVID-19 Child Nutrition Program Response Nationwide Waivers

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The table conveniently details all of the nationwide waivers and guidance issued to date by the USDA in response to the coronavirus.

Overview

For each of the more than 90 nationwide waivers and waiver extensions issued to date, this resource 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.

 

Waivers in Effect for SFSP, SSO, and NSLP until June 30, 2021

  • Allow SFSP and SSO Operations through School Year 2020-2021 (#56 & #59)
  • Allow Reimbursement for Meals Served Prior to Notification of Approval and Provide Flexibility for Pre-Approval Visits in the SFSP (#57 & #69)
  • Food Service Management Contract Duration in the NSLP and SFSP (#19 & #71)
  • Meal Pattern Flexibility in the SFSP & SSO (#4, #13, #24, #26, #38, #45, #53, #63; extended through Sept. 30, 2021 for SSO only)

Waivers in Effect for Summer 2021 Operations (through September 30, 2021)

  • Non-congregate Feeding in the SFSP & SSO (#2, #24, #44, #54, #61 & #75)
  • Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children (#5, #25, #47, #55, #62 & #76)
  • Meal Service Time Flexibilities in the SFSP and SSO (#17, #50, #66 & #78)
  • Meal Pattern Flexibility in the SFSP & SSO (#4, #13, #24, #26, #38, #45, #53, #63 & #74; #74 for SSO only – SFSP waiver expires June 30, 2021)
  • Area Eligibility Waiver Extensions (#32, #46, #52, #60 & #77)
  • Area Eligibility for Closed Enrolled Sites in the SFSP and NSLP SSO (#14, #48, #64 & #80)
  • Waiver of the First Week Site Visit Requirement in the SFSP (#15, #49, #65 & #81)
  • Offer Versus Serve Flexibilities in the SFSP (#16, #51, #67 & #79)
  • Allow Sponsors that Successfully Participated in the SFSP in FY 2019 to Operate as Experienced Sponsors in FY 2021 (#83)
  • Onsite Monitoring Requirements for SFSP Sponsors (#10, #30 & #42)
  • Onsite Monitoring Requirements for SFSP State Agencies (#11, #31 & #43)

Waivers in Effect for SSO, NSLP, SBP, and CACFP for SY 2021-2022 (through June 30, 2022)

  • Allow Schools to Utilize the Seamless Summer Options through SY 2021-2022 (#85)
  • Allow SFSP Reimbursement Rates for SSO Meals in SY 2021-2022 (#86)
  • Non-congregate Feeding in the Child Nutrition Programs (#2, #24, #33, #87)
  • Meal Service Time Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs (#1 & #17, #34, #88)
  • Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children (#5 & #25, #35 & #89)
  • Specific Meal Pattern Flexibility in the School Meals Programs and CACFP (#90 & #91 respectively)
    • Previously Meal Pattern Flexibility in the Child Nutrition Programs (#4, #13, #24, #26, #36 & #70)
  • Offer Versus Serve Flexibility for Senior High Schools in the NSLP (#37 & #92)
  • Area Eligibility in the Afterschool Programs and for Family Day Care Home Providers (#93)
    • Previously Area Eligibility for CACFP At-Risk Afterschool (#58 & #68)

Monitoring Waivers in Effect until 30 Days After the End of the Public Health Emergency

  • Onsite Monitoring Requirements for CACFP Sponsors (#39 & #96)
    • Previously Monitoring Requirements for CACFP Sponsors (#7 & #27)
  • Onsite Monitoring Requirements for CACFP State Agencies (#8, #28, #40 & #95)
  • Onsite Monitoring Requirements in the School Meals Programs (#9, #29, #41 & #94)

Deadline & Deadline Extension Waivers

  • Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) Deadlines (#6 & #82)
  • 60 Day Reporting Requirements for January and February 2020 (#12)
  • Deadline Extension for Local School Wellness Policy Triennial Assessments in the NSLP and SBP (#18)
  • FFCRA Opt-In Waiver for SY2020- 2021 NSLP USDA Foods Entitlement Calculations
  • FFCRA Opt-In Waiver for SY2021-2022 NSLP USDA Foods Entitlement Calculations
  • Selected Child Nutrition Program State Agency Reporting Requirements

Expired Waivers

  • Waiver of the Activity Requirement in Afterschool Care Child Nutrition Programs (#3) (expired 6/30/20)
  • Extend Unanticipated School Closure Operations through June 30, 2020 (#21) (expired 6/30/20)
  • Waiver of Annual Review Requirements for State Agencies in the CACFP (#20) (expired 9/30/20)

Guidance Memoranda and Q&As (with issue date)

  • COVID-19 SFSP and SSO Meal Delivery Using Existing Authority (3/9/20)
  • Questions and Answers Related to the Child Nutrition Program Monitoring and Reporting Nationwide Waivers (4/9/20)
  • Child Nutrition Program Nationwide Waivers: Questions and Answers (4/11/20)
  • Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks: Questions and Answers #3 (4/11/20)
  • Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks: Questions and Answers #4 (4/21/20)
  • SFSP and SSO Nationwide Waivers – Questions and Answers (5/19/20)
  • Questions and Answers on the Nationwide Waiver to Extend Unanticipated School Closure Operations through June 30, 2020 (5/29/20)
  • Answers Related to FSMC Contract Extensions and Allowable Costs During the Pandemic (6/3/20)
  • Questions and Answers for the Child Nutrition Programs during School Year 2020-21 #5 (8/21/20)
  • Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow SFSP and SSO Operations through December 2020 (9/11/20)
  • Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow SFSP and SSO Operations through SY 2020-2021 – EXTENSION – #2 (10/14/20)
  • Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow SFSP and SSO Operations through SY 2020-2021 – Q&As #3 (11/2/20)
  • Questions and Answers Relating to the Nationwide Waiver to Allow SFSP and SSO Operations through SY 2020-2021 – Q&As #4 (1/5/21)
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program During COVID-19 (4/9/20)
  • FFVP During COVID-19: Questions & Answers #2 (4/19/20)
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Operations for SY 2020-2021 During COVID-19 (8/21/20)
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program Operations for SY 2020-2021 during COVID-19 (10/23/20)
  • Child Nutrition Program Emergency Operating Costs During COVID-19: Implementation Guidance for State Agencies and Q&A (1/26/21)
  • Child Nutrition Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Programs: State Agency Implementation Plan Template and Q&A Guidance (3/15/21)
  • Reimbursement for Meals and Snacks Served to Young Adults in the Child and Adult Care Food Program: Implementation Guidance for State Agencies (4/9/21)

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