THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
The following USDA-issued Nationwide Waivers are in effect to increase flexibility in operating the Summer Food Service Program during the COVID-19 outbreak. These waivers are in effect until September 30, 2021 or until school is back in session, whichever date comes first.
Parent/Guardian Pick-Up Waiver: Waives the rule preventing parents and guardians from picking up meals for their children from a set site/location. Sponsors must provide the system in place to ensure that duplicate meals are not provided and that meals are given only to a parent/guardian.
Meal Service Time Waiver: Waives the requirements under SFSP that three hours must elapse between the beginning of one meal service and the beginning of another; supper must begin no later than 7 p.m. and may not extend beyond 8 p.m.; and the duration of the meal service limitation to two hours for lunch or supper and one hour for breakfast and snack. This waiver also allows for multiple meal types to be distributed at one time.
Non-Congregate Meal Service Waiver: Waives the requirement for congregate feeding in the SFSP. This waiver will minimize potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), by allowing Summer Food Service Program sponsors to serve meals outside of the standard group setting and allow for alternate meal distribution methods.
Distributing Food Items in Bulk Quantities: Sponsors approved to operate under both the meal service time waiver and the non-congregate feeding waiver, may distribute multiple meals at one time to children or their parent/legal guardian.
Sponsors must explain how they will ensure bulk quantities still meet the portion sizes required for each meal served, will meet meal pattern requirements, and the system to distribute bulk meals in accordance with all program regulations and food safety requirements.
Please refer to the following guidance when providing multiple meals at one time:
Summer Food Service Program: Providing Multiple Meals at a Time During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
On-site Monitoring Requirements Waiver: Waives onsite SFSP monitoring requirements. Sponsors must describe the plan to continue monitoring activities of Program operations off-site (e.g. reviewing paperwork, such as meals counts and production records, daily to ensure accuracy). Please note monitoring requirements themselves have not been waived.
Area Eligibility Waiver: Waives the requirement that sponsors can only operate open sites in “areas in which poor economic conditions exist.” Sponsors must describe their system for targeting eligible or newly eligible children at site locations.
If you were previously approved as a sponsor to implement any of the above waivers, you should see them listed on your ‘2021 Sponsor Annual Information’ page under the ‘Sponsor Waivers’ sections of the page.
As part of the 2021 SFSP Annual Renewal, please review and update any approved site waivers if needed. It is important that this information is accurate as it is shared with the public FNS Summer Meals Site Finder.
If you are a sponsor that has not previously been approved for the available waivers, follow the steps listed in the 'Waiver Instructions' at the top of the renewal page to request these waivers for the 2021 SFSP.