Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Announcements from the WI DPI School Nutrition Team (SNT)
- Updates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Updates from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) School Nutrition Team (SNT)
USDA COVID-19 Waivers Update
Hot off the Press!
On March 9, 2021, USDA announced the extension of these eight nationwide waivers for summer operations, which expire on September 30, 2021. The Child Nutrition Response memos are currently not available on the USDA website. We will post them to the SNT website as soon as they are available.
Reminder: serving meals over the summer is not a requirement but consider doing so if you have children in your community who could benefit from the nutritious, high-quality meals you serve.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #73-Child Nutrition Waiver Update: USDA would like to recognize the creativity, dedication, and tireless efforts of program operators and administrators at all levels to ensure access to healthy meals during this past year. Additional guidance for the SY 2021-22 is forthcoming. USDA anticipates providing additional guidance as soon as possible so that they may support the reopening of schools in fall 2021.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #74-Nationwide Waiver to Allow Meal Pattern Flexibilities for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 9: USDA will continue to offer a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meal pattern waiver for summer 2021, and this flexibility will also continue to apply to the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option (SSO) operations for summer 2021. However, effective July 1, 2021, the regular Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) meal pattern requirements will need to be in place for that program. USDA did not extend this waiver beyond June 30, 2021 for SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #75-Nationwide Waiver to Allow Non-Congregate Feeding for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 6: USDA is continuing to allow meals to be served to children outside of the normally required congregate meal setting to support social distancing. This applies to both the SSO and SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #76-Nationwide Waiver to Allow Parents and Guardians to Pick Up Meals for Children for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 6: USDA is continuing to allow parents and/or guardians to pick up meals at non-congregate sites and take them home to their children. Accountability and program integrity need to remain in effect, ensuring that meals are distributed only to parents or guardians of eligible children, and that duplicate meals are not distributed to any child. This applies to both the SSO and SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #77-Nationwide Waiver to Extend Area Eligibility Waivers for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 4: USDA is continuing to allow sites to be operated in areas that are located outside of eligible areas, as long as the meal sites are targeting benefits to children in need. School sites may continue to operate open sites in areas that are not located in “areas in which poor economic conditions exist”. Meal sites must continue to target benefits to children in need, including those children who may be eligible for benefits due to the economic impacts of COVID-19. This applies to both the SSO and SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #78-Nationwide Waiver of Meal Service Time Restrictions for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 3: USDA is continuing to waive requirements that meals be served at certain standard times to allow for grab-n-go options. This also allows for multiple days-worth of meals to be provided at once. This applies to both the SSO and SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #79-Nationwide Waiver to Allow Offer Versus Serve Flexibilities in the Summer Food Service Program for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 3: USDA is continuing to allow all Summer Food Service Program sponsors to use offer versus serve (OVS). Meal service parameters must be followed as specified in this response document. OVS is not intended to be a way to circumvent meal pattern requirements or eliminate specific components. This applies to the SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #80-Nationwide Waiver to Allow Area Eligibility for Closed Enrolled Sites for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 3: USDA is continuing to waive the requirement to obtain income applications to determine closed enrolled sites. This applies to the SSO and SFSP.
- COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response #81-Nationwide Waiver for Waiver First Week Site Visits in the Summer Food Service Program for Summer 2021 Operations - EXTENSION 3: USDA is continuing to waive the requirement of the first week site visit for sponsors that have successfully participated in the SFSP in the previous year and other SFSP sponsors in good standing that have successfully participated in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This applies to the SFSP.
Most Frequently Asked Question Regarding the Waiver Extension
Q: Does the September 30th date mean that we can utilize the SSO/SFSP once we go back to school in the fall?
A: We believe that the SSO/SFSP can only be utilized until the first day of the normal school year. However, we are checking with USDA and will provide further guidance.
The SNT is working diligently to get resources posted on our website updated as quickly as possible.
Thank you from the SNT for all that you have been doing to keep Wisconsin’s children fed with healthy and nutritious meals!
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
This is a communication from the WI Department of Public Instruction, School Nutrition Team.