Quick Guide to Federal Children Nutrition Program Rule Waivers

The United States Department of Agriculture has extended rule flexibilities for all child nutrition programs to make it easier for schools, community organizations and local government to feed children during the COVID pandemic. Following is a quick summary of key rule waivers for the following programs:

NSLP = National School Lunch Program
SBP = School Breakfast Program
SFSP = Summer Food Service Program
SSO = Seamless Summer Option
CACFP = Child and Adult Care Food Program
WIC = Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children

Rule Waivers

Rule Flexibility: Allows meals to be served outside of normal service hours
Extended Through: 2020-21 School Year
Affected Programs: NSLP, SBP and CACFP

Rule Flexibility:  Allows meals to be served in non-congregate (group) care settings
Extended Through: 2020-21 School Year
Affected Programs: NSLP, SBP, SFSP and CACFP

Rule Flexibility:  Allows schools and program sponsors to serve meals that do not strictly meet USDA nutrition guidelines
Extended Through: 2020-21 School Year
Affected Programs: NSLP, SBP, SFSP and CACFP

Rule Flexibility: Allows parents to pick up meals without their children being present
Extended Through: 2020-21 School Year
Affected Programs: NSLP, SBP, SFSP and CACFP

Rule Flexibility:  Allows schools and other organizations to serve afterschool snacks and suppers outside of a structured environment and without an educational or enrichment purpose
Extended Through: 2021-21 School Year
Affected Programs: NSLP, SBP, SFSP and CACFP

Rule Flexibility:  Allows schools and other organizations to serve children through Summer Food Service Program and Seamless Summer Option
Extended Through: Dec. 31, 2020
Affected Programs: SFSP and SSO

Rule Flexibility:  Allows schools and other organizations to serve all children for free, regardless of the community’s level of poverty (Known as area eligibility)
Extended Through: Dec. 31, 2020
Affected Programs: SFSP and SSO

Rule Flexibility: Allows participants to be approved for WIC without being physically present in a local office, provides remote issuance of benefits to any participant, offers flexibility in food purchasing requirements, including milk, yogurt and whole wheat or whole grain bread, allows current WIC recipients to have benefits added to their eWIC accounts without any further action and can use current eWIC cards for ongoing food benefits
Extended Through: 30 days after the end of the nationally-declared public health emergency
Affected Program: WIC

Find more information about NJ child nutrition programs waivers.

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