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Waivers Available for Program Operators for 2021-2022 SY

USDA has extended nationwide waivers to support access to nutritious meals while minimizing potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID–19). The chart below identifies the available waivers and provides a description of each.

Program operators should evaluate their meal service operations to determine the applicable waivers necessary based on the Program operated. Program operators will need to notify the Child Nutrition Program Office of the waivers they have elected to use through the Child Nutrition Management System (CNMS). 

Available Waivers

Applicable Program

USDA Issue Date

Waiver Expiration Date

Summary of Waiver

Seamless Summer Option Through School Year 2021-2022

SSO

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

Permits School Food Authorities (SFAs) to operate in the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) of the National School Lunch Program during the 2021-2022 school year.

Summer Food Service Program Reimbursement Rates in School Year 2021-2022

 

*This waiver will automatically be elected for SFAs/sites that choose to operate SSO.

SSO

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

This waiver allows SFAs to claim National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option meals and snacks at the applicable Summer Food Service Program reimbursement rates in the 2021-2022 School Year.

Non-Congregate Feeding

 

SSO,

NSLP/SBP

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

Waives the requirement for meals to be served and consumed by participants at congregate meal sites and allows for meals to be consumed off-site.

Allows for grab and go meals and meal delivery.

This waiver must be elected if offering “grab and go" or if serving non-unitized meals and/or food items in bulk quantities.

Meal Service Times

 

SSO,

NSLP/SBP

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

Waives meal service time requirements and allows meals to be served outside of standard mealtimes.

Allows multiple meals to be served at the same time.

Program operators that serve two meals together at the same time for “grab and go” must elect this waiver.

Parent/Guardian Meal Pick Up Waiver

SSO,

NSLP/SBP

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

Waives the requirement that meals are served directly to eligible children.

Allows parents/guardians to pick up meals for their children without the child being present.

SFA’s must have a plan in place to maintain accountability and program integrity that includes: ensuring that meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children, and that duplicate meals are not distributed to any child.

Meal Pattern Flexibility

SSO,

NSLP/SBP

August 27, 2021

June 30, 2022

SSO Program operators may elect this waiver to waive specific meal pattern requirements required by the SSO. 

Allows targeted, justified flexibilities to support access to nutritious meals. Program operators are still required to meet nutrition standards to the greatest extent possible. 

This waiver is specific to the requirements listed below:

  • That menus meet the dietary specification for sodium,
  • That all grains offered be whole grain-rich
  • That, for pre-schoolers, at least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich
  • To offer a variety of vegetables from the vegetable subgroups
  • To offer a variety (at least two different options) of fluid milk
  • That low-fat milk must be unflavored and
  • To plan menus and offer food components for specified age/grade groups

All other meal pattern requirements remain in effect.

Offer versus Serve Flexibility Waiver for Senior High Schools

SSO,

NSLP/SBP

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

Waives the requirement for senior high schools (as defined by SED) to participate in Offer Versus Serve (OVS) during the 2021-2022 School Year

Onsite Monitoring Requirements in the School Meals Programs

SSO,

NSLP/SBP

 

April 20, 2021

Until 30 days after the end of the public health emergency

Waives the requirement that monitoring must be conducted on-site for all School Food Authorities (SFAs) and State agencies. SFAs and State agencies should continue monitoring activities remotely

Area Eligibility in the Afterschool Programs

Afterschool Snack Program

April 20, 2021

June 30, 2022

Allows schools participating in the Afterschool Snack Program to serve snacks to all students at no charge and to claim all snacks at the free rate regardless of their location.

Local School Wellness Policy Triennial Assessments in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs

NSLP/SBP

June 11, 2021

June 30, 2022

Extends the deadline for the triennial assessment from June 30, 2021 to June 30, 2022

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at: https://www.usda.gov/sites/default/files/documents/USDA-OASCR%20P-Complaint-Form-0508-0002-508-11-28-17Fax2Mail.pdf, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted 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; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:
    program.intake@usda.gov

 

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.

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