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COVID-19: USDA Child Nutrition Response #71

Nationwide Waiver of Food Service Management Contract Duration in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) – Extension.

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On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released COVID-19-Child Nutrition Response #71: Nationwide Waiver of Food Service Management Contract Duration in the NSLP and SFSP – Extension External link opens in new window or tab.. This waiver is effective immediately for all program operators who are approved to operate in the NSLP and/or the SFSP, and are contracting with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC).

Under this waiver, program operators with FSMC contracts that are slated to expire by or around June 30, 2021; and are unable to competitively procure a new FSMC contract may, pursuant to Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 200.320(c)(3), use the emergency noncompetitive proposal procurement method to negotiate a new one-year FSMC contract for the 2021—2022 School Year. To ensure program integrity during this time the contract resulting from this noncompetitive proposal may not include renewal options.

Although the USDA has waived the competitive solicitation requirement on a case-by-case basis for FSMC contracts, the requirement for the California Department of Education (CDE) to issue prior approval of the NSLP FSMC contracts before they are executed remains in effect. All sponsors that desire to use this waiver must email for prior approval.

Updates regarding the USDA waivers and additional information for program operators are regularly posted to the CDE COVID-19 in the Child Nutrition Programs web page.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, contact the Procurement Resources Unit by phone at 916-322-8323 or by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, January 22, 2021
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