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Public Notification: School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program Waiver Requests

The Rhode Island Department of Education is submitting waivers for relief from certain regulatory requirements of the USDA's School Breakfast Program (SBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP): 

  • Meal Pattern- The purpose of this waiver is to simplify operations as much as possible for School Food Authorities (SFAs) during School Year 2020-2021 as meal service will be vastly different compared to normal operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver would allow SFAs to use the SFSP meal pattern if more appropriate to their needs and would also allow SFAs to use the NSLP/ SBP meal pattern instead of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Meal Pattern for meals served to non-co-mingled Pre-K students.
  • Signage- The purpose of this waiver is to reduce the administrative burden on School Food Authorities (SFAs) to post Offer vs. Serve meal pattern signage at meal service locations during School Year 2020-2021 as meal service will be offered in many different locations compared to normal operations to continue social distancing efforts.
  • Potable Water- The purpose of this waiver is to reduce the financial burden and environmental impact of providing potable water via bottled water to students while operating under alternate meal services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver would allow School Food Authorities (SFA’s) to send meals home without bottled water. It would also allow for alternate methods to ensure potable water is available during school meals that are eaten on site while water fountains are closed to decrease the risk of COVID-19 exposure.
  • Milk Choice in School Meal Programs- The purpose of this waiver is to reduce burden on School Food Authorities (SFAs) in providing at least two different choices of milk to students while operating under alternate meal services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The waiver would support SFA’s in the successful implementation of meal service under new circumstances while ensuring meals still provide the necessary nutrition children need to grow and learn.

    For more information on the program, call the Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Statewide Efficiencies, Child Nutrition Programs at (401) 222-8936 or (401) 222-4682