USDA Extends School Meal Waivers

When the pandemic caused schools around the country to close, how did USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service respond?

“At USDA our emergency response was defined by frantic issuances of waivers, and then extending the waivers, and then extending the waivers again as necessary. To maximize the flexibility for program operators and administrators while managing the basic tenants of program integrity.”

Sarah Smith-Holmes, acting Deputy Administrator for Child Nutrition Programs, said the waivers allowed schools to provide free meals to students.

“We tried to be responsive to your needs that we were hearing and hope that these waivers helped you better serve your communities during this challenging time.”

USDA recently extended the waivers through the summer.

“Our guidance for the school year is in the final stages of development and we hope to release it in the very near future.”

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