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Child Nutrition Program COVID-19 Information

Safer at Home Order

Governor Tony Evers and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued a Safer at Home order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, effective at 8 am on Wednesday March 25th. This order will remain in effect until 8 am on Friday, April 24th or until a superseding order is issued.

General Information

The Wisconsin School and Community Nutrition Teams have created a webpage to help School Food Authorities, Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) facilities navigate the options for serving children meals due to COVID-19.

USDA Guidance
DPI Guidance
Providing Meals

Wisconsin School and Community Nutrition Programs have been provided the option to continue to provide reimbursable meals to children during closures related to the COVID-19 virus. The following outlines the steps that School Food Authorities (SFA), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) facilities must take to be approved to operate during a closure. SFAs have the option to select the SFSP or the SSO. Free and reduced eligibility thresholds for the SFSP and SSO sites do not apply in this circumstance.

  • Providing meals during a closure/dismissal
    • Definition of closure/dismissal: closing the center/school and sending all the children and staff home. In a dismissal, the center/school may stay open for staff while the children stay home. We will use the term dismissal for purposes of closure and dismissal.
    • USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) may waive the requirement at 7 CFR 225.6(e)(15) and 7 CFR 226.29(b)(6)(iii), that meals be served and consumed in a congregate setting.
    • FNS may waive the requirements at 7 CFR 225.6(d)(1)(iv) limiting the operation of the SFSP or SSO during an unexpected dismissal during the school year to non-school sites.
    • FNS may waive the requirements at 7 CFR 210.10(1), 220.8(1), 225.16(c)(1) and (2) allowing State agencies to adjust the time of meal service as addressed at 226.20(k), including suspension of meal times as needed in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, during the public health emergency.
    • FNS may also waive the requirements at 7 CFR 210.10(o)(1)(ii) and 7 CRF 226.17a(b)(1)(ii) and (iii), allowing eligible schools and at-risk afterschool care centers to serve afterschool meals and snacks without an educational or enrichment activity during this public health emergency.
    • It is not mandatory that SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors provide meals during a dismissal; however, SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors are encouraged to ensure that the needs of low-income children are met during extended dismissals.
    • The SSO COVID-19 waiver “is targeted to children who attend schools that have been dismissed due to COVID-19. However, in eligible areas, meals may be served to all children 18 and under in the household if at least one child attends a dismissed school.”
  • Ways to inform families of availability of meals
    • Wisconsin Child Nutrition Programs encourage SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors to use your standard methods of communication to inform households of the availability and location of meals during closures related to COVID-19. Such methods may include social media, emails, texts, and phone calls.
  • Ideas of Non-Congregate Meal Delivery
    • Consider ways to deliver meals to households, such as:
      • serving meals out of a drive thru area at the school/center,
      • using delivery trucks to deliver to remote sites,
      • delivering meals along the bus route using school buses, or
      • delivering a lunch meal along with a breakfast pack for the next day to provide two meals at once.
  • Shelf-Stable Menu Item Ideas SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors who need to provide shelf-stable meals for food safety concerns or lack of available product may consider these options.
  • Ways to use WI-Processed Products SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors who need creative ideas for how to use their WI-Processed products.
  • Food Safety
    • If serving meals at a school or center, SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors should continue to follow their food safety plan and the standard operating procedures (SOP) for that site.
    • If serving meals at a non-school meal distribution site, SFAs, SFSP and CACFP sponsors should create an SOP detailing specific food safety practices. A DPI template is available.
    • Refer to the Food Safety Tips for more information.
  • Closing Instructions
Additional Information

No Kid Hungry is offering real time funding and assistance for schools, early child care centers and community organizations that are making sure kids have access to the meals they need as schools close due to coronavirus. No Kid Hungry is providing emergency grants to support these local efforts like home delivered meals, grab and go meals programs, school and community pantries, backpack programs, and other steps to help reach children and families who lose access to meals. We’re providing $1 million in emergency grants on a rolling basis. This is the first phase of an ongoing multi-million dollar response. Please visit the linked COVID-19 support inquiry form to learn more.

If your organization needs funding to support these efforts, please submit your interest in receiving emergency grant funds:

Contacts for CACFP, SFSP and SSO

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
Shiela Coulton
Operations Program Associate
(608) 267-9129
Amy Kolano
SFSP Coordinator
(608) 266-7124
Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
Counting and Claiming
Seamless Summer Option (SSO)
Meal Pattern Compliance
Michelle Zvonar
Nutrition Program Consultant
(608) 267-9125
Brittany Zerbe
Public Health Nutritionist
(608) 266-5185
Tanya Kirtz
Nutrition Program Consultant
(608) 266-2410
Molly Gregory
Public Health Nutritionist
(608) 267-9276