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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, 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.