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Public Notification: Child Nutrition Programs Waiver Request

The Rhode Island Department of Education plans on submitting multiple waiver requests to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) for flexibility in requirements of the Child Nutrition Programs: National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO), Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), Special Milk Program (SMP), and Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). FNS expects that these flexibilities will be implemented only when Program operation is limited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 
The following waivers allow needed flexibilities for summer programs and school food authorities (SFAs) to operate if public health conditions due to COVID-19 limit normal operations.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) during Summer 2022, and Unanticipated School Closures:

  • Non-Congregate Meal Service during Summer 2022
  • Parent/Guardian Meal Pickup during Summer 2022
  • Non-Congregate Meal Service during Unanticipated School Closures in SY 2022-23
  • Parent and Guardian Meal Pick-Up during Unanticipated School Closures (SFSP/SSO)
  • Meal Service Times for Unanticipated School Closures in SY 2022-23
  • Meals at School Sites for Unanticipated School Closures in SY 2022-23

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP):

  • Non-Congregate Meal Service
  • Parent/Guardian Meal Pickup
  • Meal Service Times
  • Offer Versus Serve
  • Paid Lunch Equity
  • Use of Prior Year Eligibility Determinations for School Year 2022-23 Carryover

School Year Administration (NSLP/SBP/SFSP) and Reporting Requirements (NSLP):

The following waivers allow State and local Program operators to overcome administrative challenges resulting from COVID-19 and to appropriately allocate their limited staffing resources to ensure safe service of meals to children as they respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Local School Wellness Policy Triennial Assessment
  • Food Service Management Company (FSMC) contract duration
  • Administrative Review Onsite Requirements
  • Second (Independent) Review of Applications
  • Administrative Review Data Report

Special Milk Program (SMP):

The following waivers are intended to provide needed flexibility to support schools and institutions in continuing to offer milk when congregate milk service is limited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Non-Congregate Milk Service
  • Parent/Guardian Milk Pickup

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP):

The following waivers are intended to provide needed flexibility to support schools in continuing to participate in the FFVP when the FFVP elementary school is closed for in-person instruction and congregate meal service is limited by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Parent/Guardian FFVP Pickup
  • Alternate Site

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP):

The waivers in this section apply to CACFP. FNS expects that operational flexibilities under these waivers will only be implemented by Program operators when congregation is limited by the COVID-19 pandemic. FNS expects that monitoring flexibilities will only be implemented when pandemic conditions interfere with the ability of State agencies and sponsoring organizations to conduct reviews onsite.

  • Non-Congregate Meal Service
  • Parent/Guardian Meal Pick-Up
  • Meal Service Times
  • State Agency Onsite Monitoring Visits
  • Sponsoring Organization Onsite Monitoring Visits

If granted, these waivers will provide Child Nutrition Program flexibilities for Summer 2022 and for School Year 2022-2023 in the event that normal operations are limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Having these flexibilities when normal operations are limited will allow Program Operators the ability to continue to serve healthy meals to Rhode Island’s children, and they will ensure that all regulatory and administrative requirements can be fulfilled in a safe manner by both State agencies and Program administrators.

For more information on the program, call the Rhode Island Department of Education, Office of Statewide Efficiencies, Child Nutrition Programs at (401) 222-4253, (401) 222-4269, or (401) 222-4698.