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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

Summer Food Service Program Sponsors
Child Nutrition Program Administration
Monday, May 24, 2021
2021 SFSP Waiver Information

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. 

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:, 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:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Click here for Nondiscrimination Statement translations.