• Phone: 612-430-7750
  • info@amsd.org
Stay Connected:

Federal Update: USDA extends meal flexibility through summer

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced the extension of three nationwide waivers this week, giving child nutrition program operators the flexibility to continue to feed children during the COVID-19 pandemic, while also promoting social distancing.   

 With the extension of these waivers, models such as drive-thru food pickups, bus delivery and other means to deliver nutrition to students can continue while state and local social distancing orders remain in place. 

The USDA move extends three key waivers that will allow current operations to continue through August 31, 2020:  

  • Non-Congregate Feeding: FNS is allowing meals to be served to children outside of the normally-required group setting to support social distancing.   
  • Parent Pickup: FNS is allowing parents and/or guardians to pick up meals and bring them home to their children.   
  • Meal Times: FNS is waiving 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.   

FNS is also rapidly approving states for Pandemic-EBT, which provides food-purchasing benefits, equal to the value of school meals, to households with children who would otherwise be receiving free or reduced-price meals at school. FNS has approved 26 plans and continues to review new plans as they are submitted.   

LINK: Learn more at the FNS website of the USDA