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Resources to Transition into the 2022-23 School Year


This webpage provides resources and information for transitioning back to “normal” Child Nutrition Program operations.
School Meals Programs Comparison Table of Flexibilities for School Year 2021-22 and School Year 2022-23: This at-a-glance comparison chart provides an overview of how specific program flexibilities have changed since SY 2021-22, and what flexibilities are available for SY 2022-23 to support program operations.

Waivers For SY 2022-23 (School Nutrition Programs)

  • Non-Congregate Meal Service (NSLP, SBP, SSO, SMP, FFVP)
  • Parent and Guardian Meal Pick-Up (NSLP, SBP, SSO, SMP, FFVP)
  • Meal Service Times (NSLP, SBP, SSO, FFVP)
  • Offer Versus Serve for High School Students (NSLP, SSO)
  • Administrative Review Onsite Requirements (Onsite Monitoring) (NSLP, SBP)
  • Alternate Site (FFVP)
  • Service of Meals at School Sites during Unanticipated School Closures (SSO)

USDA has stressed the fact that these waivers should only be utilized for COVID-related reasons. Program operators are expected to only use these flexibilities for the duration and extent that they are needed.

Schools MUST apply and be approved for these waivers in order to utilize them. Contact us at if your school has a need for the waivers. Schools will be required to fill out a waiver application and meet the reporting requirements.

Current nationwide waiver Onsite Monitoring Requirements in the School Meal Programs remains in effect until 30 days after the end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE). The end of the PHE will be declared by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Questions and Answers

Question: What qualifies as a COVID-related reason?

Answer: A site would need to be closed due to COVID incidence, resulting in limited congregate meal service within the community. In most situations, the site would need to be located within a county with a high rate of COVID-related illness as determined by the Department of Health Services website. If a site closes but is not located in a county with a high rate of COVID incidence, the DPI would need to collect additional information by contacting the local health department.

Question: What does not qualify as a COVID-related reason?

Answer: The following reasons are not considered COVID-related:

  • Individual cases of COVID
  • Staff shortages
  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Convenience
  • Parent requests
  • Students who choose to learn virtually

Question: Can non-congregate meals be offered when a classroom closes or a child is out sick?

Answer: No, non-congregate meals may only be offered when an entire school building is closed due to COVID incidence as defined above. Meals may not be offered when a child is out sick or a classroom closes but the rest of the school remains open.

Question: How does a school apply?

Answer: If the school needs to apply for a waiver, contact We will talk through each situation and provide a link to a waiver request form as appropriate.

Question: How long is an approved waiver good for?

Answer: The DPI will be approving waivers for a two-week period. In some cases, that could be extended depending on the situation.

Question: What program(s) may be used to provide meals during an unanticipated school closure?

Answer: The National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs (NSLP/SBP) may only be used when the school has virtual learning during the closure. The Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), do not require virtual learning during the closure but any school that would like to utilize SSO/SFSP must meet area eligibility requirements. To be area eligible, the school must be located within the attendance area of a public school building with a free/reduced percentage of 50% or more OR be located within an eligible census area per the USDA Capacity Builder Map.

SY 2022-23 Program Options for Unanticipated School Closures

Question: Is the school required to provide meals during an unanticipated school closure?

Answer: Schools are not required to provide meals if they temporarily transition to virtual instruction as a COVID response.

Schools MUST apply and be approved for these waivers in order to utilize them. Contact to apply.