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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Monday, October 26, 2020
Election and Reporting of CN Program Participation and Operations in 2020-2021 School Year

Original memo dated October 26, 2020.  Updates are indicated by double asterisks (**). 

The New York State Education Department (SED) has elected the use of the Nationwide waiver flexibilities provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which permit all School Food Authorities (SFAs) to provide meals to all children free of charge through the SFSP and the Seamless Summer Option of the National School Lunch Program (SSO) during the 2020-2021 school year (SY) until June 30, 2021 to the extent that federal and state funding allows.

Please note that recent USDA guidance allows SFAs to operate the National School Lunch Program afterschool snack service simultaneously with the SFSP and SSO during SY 2020-2021. Continue to check the Child Nutrition Website as additional USDA guidance is forthcoming.

**The deadline to submit to SED a completed SFSP Sponsor Application has been extended to November 15, 2020.

SED is currently accepting new sponsor applications for SFAs to participate in the SFSP for the first time during the 2020-2021 SY. The Comparison Chart identifies the notable differences among the different programs SFAs can elect to participate in. SED encourages SFAs to consider participation in the SFSP to take advantage of the higher reimbursement and simplified meal pattern. SFAs previously approved to operate the SFSP during the 2020 Summer need not re-apply. To request an application, fill out the SFSP Application Request Form. **The deadline to submit a complete and accurate application to operate the SFSP for SY 2020-2021 has been extended to November 15, 2020.

Collection of SY 2020-2021 Operations

To maintain Program integrity, ensure accurate claiming, and comply with federal reporting requirements, SED will collect SY 2020-2021 meal program election and operation information from all SFAs.  

Program operation information will be collected in 2 phases:

  • Phase 1: Recipient Agency (RA)/Site Operation Information

  • Phase 2: Election of Applicable Waivers

Phase 1: Collection of RA/Site Operation Information

SFAs must report CN program elections and operational information for each RA/Site through the Child Nutrition Management System (CNMS) no later than November 15, 2020. SFAs will report for each RA/Site:

  • The CN program elected (SFSP, SSO, National School Lunch Program/School Breakfast Program, School Milk Program)

  • Meal types offered (Breakfast, Lunch, Supper, Snack)

  • Meal Service Days & Times

  • Anticipated daily participation number

RA/site program election and operations must be entered into CNMS to ensure meals claimed are paid at the appropriate reimbursement rate. SFAs cannot submit claims for reimbursement until all data is accepted by SED. SFAs will receive an automated email notification once operation information submitted on CNMS has been reviewed and accepted by SED.

Click here for step by step instructions on submitting Phase 1: Recipient Agency/Site Operations information in the CNMS.

Phase 2: Collection of Recipient Agency (RA)/Site Waiver Elections

SFAs will report the USDA waivers utilized at each RA/Site. Please review the waivers that are available to determine which waivers are applicable to operations. Instructions on reporting Phase 2 will be provided in a separate communication.


The following waiver flexibilities are now extended for the SY 2020-2021:

  • Allowance of SFSP and SSO: Allows free meal program operations.

  • Area Eligibility: Allows free meals to be provided in non-needy areas.

  • Non-Congregate: Allows for grab and go meals and meal delivery.

  • Meal Service Time: Allows multiple meals to be served at the same time.

  • Parent/Guardian Pickup: Allows parents/guardians to pick up children’s meals.

  • Meal Pattern: Allows targeted, justified flexibilities to support meal access.

  • First Week Visits (SFSP): Allows relief from visiting each site within the first week.

  • Onsite Monitoring (SFSP): Allows relief from conducting monitoring reviews onsite.

  • Allowance of Offer Versus Serve (OVS) (SFSP): Allows all SFSP sponsors to implement OVS

  • OVS Flexibility for Senior High Schools (NSLP/SBP): Allows relief from the requirement to implement offer versus serve in high schools.

  • FSMC Contract Duration: Allows contracts that expired by June 30, 2020 to be extended through school year 2020-2021.

  • Local Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment: Allows SFAs to complete the first Triennial assessment by June 30, 2021.

  • Onsite Monitoring (NSLP): Allows SFAs with more than one building relief from on-site monitoring.

Child Nutrition program representatives are available to assist SFAs in reporting 2020-2021 school year operations and waiver elections. Please contact your child nutrition program representative with any questions.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)     mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)     email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.


Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.

Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y sus beneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:

De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en ingles), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.

Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de seas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877-8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.

Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD-3027) que está disponible en linea en: y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632-9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:

(1)     correo: U.S. Department of Agriculture
         Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
         1400 Independence Avenue, SW
         Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)     fax: (202) 690-7442; o

(3)     correo electró

Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.