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U.S. Department of Agriculture Waiver Request

Information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) waiver request protocol for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).

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General Information

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service established a waiver request protocol for certain Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) statutory or regulatory requirements. The CNPs include the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the Afterschool Meal Supplement, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP), and the Special Milk Program.

For more information, please see the USDA Policy Memorandum SP 15-2018, CACFP 12-2018, SFSP 05-2018 Child Nutrition Program Waiver Request Guidance and Protocol Revised External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Current Waiver Requests for the Nutrition Services Division

  1. The California Department of Education (CDE) is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators of the NSLP utilizing the SSO and for all SFSP operators operating approved outdoor feeding sites without temperature-controlled alternative sites, experiencing excessive heat. Program operators with approved outdoor meal sites without temperature-controlled alternative sites will be able to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis to operate noncongregate sites only on days when the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat advisory, an excessive heat warning, or an excessive heat watch. In these instances, the CDE is requesting authority to grant approval to the affected program operators that are not seriously deficient to allow children to take their meals off-site for consumption rather than requiring congregate feeding.

  2. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of School Nutrition Program (SNP) Operators in good standing and who are approved to operate the NSLP and SBP. The CDE requests to modify the currently approved Local Agency Procurement Review six-year cycle waiver. The modification would replace the six-year cycle with a risk-based review.

  3. The CDE is requesting a waiver which will allow program operators in affected areas to serve meals to students and allow the students to consume the meals off-site away from poor air quality areas, and additionally minimize the time program operator staff must remain at the meal service sites and prolong their exposure to toxins.

  4. The CDE is requesting a waiver for approved SFSP and SSO operators to conduct first week site visits as required by 7 Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) 225.15(d)(2).

  5. The CDE is requesting a waiver for the requirement for closed enrolled SFSP and SSO sites to collect applications for eligibility as required by 42 U.S. Code (42 U.S.C.) 1761(a)(1)(A)(i)(III) and 7 CFR 225.15(f).

  6. The CDE is requesting a waiver for meal service restrictions requirements for SFSP and SSO operators are required by 7 CFR 225.16(c)(1) and (c)(2).

  7. The CDE is requesting a waiver for program operators in good standing who are operating the SNP and want to apply for Community Eligibility Program (CEP) in school year (SY) 2022–23. The waiver would allow SNP operators to obtain Identified Student Percentage data anytime between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

  8. The CDE is requesting Non-Congregate Feeding and Meal Time Flexibility waivers for School Nutrition Program Operators to provide two meals during shortened school days of four hours or less in SY 2022–23.

  9. The CDE is requesting the following Summer 2022 and SY 2022–23 CNP waivers implemented by Program Operators when congregate meal service is limited by COVID-19:
    • SFSP and SSO for Summer 2022: non-congregate meal service and parent/guardian pickup
    • NSLP and SBP for SY 2022–23: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian pickup, meal service times, and offer-versus-serve
    • Special Milk Program for SY 2022–23: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian pickup
    • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for SY 2022–23: parent/guardian pickup, alternate site

  10. The CDE is requesting the following administrative and reporting requirement waivers: local school wellness policy triennial assessment, food service management company contract duration, administrative review onsite requirements, onsite requirements for school food authority (SFA) onsite reviews by February 1, onsite requirement for afterschool care reviews, onsite requirement for periodic onsite visits when utilizing a food service management contract, FNS-874 second (independent) review of applications, and FNS-640 administrative review data report.

  11. The CDE is requesting the following waivers during unanticipated school closures resulting from COVID-19 during SY 2022 ̶ 2023, as applied to the SFSP and SSO: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pickup, meal service times, and meals at school sites for unanticipated school closures.

  12. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of CNP operators, in good standing, of the NSLP SSO and SFSP to forgo fiscal action for meal pattern violations caused by supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19. The waiver would be in effect from July 1, 2022 through September 30, 2022.

  13. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of the NSLP and SBP operators who due to documented COVID-19 related issues, such as supply chain disruptions, are not able to meet the full requirements of the SBP/NSLP meal pattern standards.

  14. The CDE requests a waiver on behalf of Program Operators that utilized the SSO for meal services during the 2021–22 SY to utilize the most recent eligibility determinations available for students, including dating back to SY 2019–20, to provide 30 day carryover benefits for SY 2022–23.

  15. The CDE is requesting to waiver SFSP operators who are in good standing Offer Versus Serve Requirements at 42 U.S.C.1761(f)(7) and 7 CFR 225.16(f)(1)(ii).

  16. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of SFSP operators in good standing. The CDE is requesting to waive the on-site portion of the monitoring requirement for SFSP operators.

  17. The CDE is requesting a CEP waiver on behalf of SNP operators, in good standing, approved to operate the NSLP and SBP. The CDE is requesting the authority to grant SNP sponsors with the flexibility to elect for CEP by September 30, 2022.

  18. The CDE is requesting a waiver of congregate feeding, meal time, meal pattern and offer versus serve requirements for operators of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program in Siskiyou county due to the Mill Fire.

  19. The CDE is requesting a waiver of congregate feeding, meal time, meal pattern, offer versus serve, and parent guardian pickup requirements for operators of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast program in Riverside, El Dorado and Placer Counties due to the Fairview and Mosquito Fires.

  20. The CDE is requesting a waiver of requirements for congregate feeding, meal time, meal pattern, offer versus serve, and meal service directly to children for operators of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs in Madera and Modoc counties due to the Fork and Barnes fires.

  21. The CDE is requesting a waiver of requirements for congregate feeding, meal time, meal pattern, offer versus serve, and meal service directly to children for operators of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs in Humboldt County in response to the 6.4 magnitude earthquake near the city of Ferndale.

  22. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of SNP operators in good standing who operate the NSLP and the SBP. The waiver would extend the upcoming three-year SNP administrative review cycle to a five-year cycle. The waiver would become effective July 1, 2023.

  23. The CDE is requesting waivers for all SFSP and SSO operators who are impacted by an unanticipated school closure as the result of a disaster, unscheduled building maintenance, court order related to school safety, or labor management disputes. Under these circumstances the following flexibilities are available to operators: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pickup, meal service times, and meal service at school sites.

  24. The CDE is requesting waivers for all NSLP and SBP operators who are impacted by an unanticipated school closure as the result of a disaster, unscheduled building maintenance, court order related to school safety, or labor management disputes. Under these circumstances the following flexibilities are available to operators: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pickup, meal service times, and offer versus serve requirements.

  25. The CDE is requesting to delay the final rule compliance date from May 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024, for certain areas of the program sponsor’s SFSP management plan.

  26. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of SFSP operators who are in good standing. The waiver would waiver the aggregate reimbursement requirement for CDE to review SFSP operators.

  27. The CDE is requesting approval on behalf of SFSP and SSO program operators in good standing to provide meals in a noncongregate manner when excessive heat or poor air quality conditions are present.

  28. The CDE is requesting approval on behalf of SFSP and SSO program operators in good standing to allow meal time flexibility when excessive heat or poor air quality conditions are present.

  29. The CDE is requesting a CEP waiver on behalf of a SNP operator, in good standing, approved to operate the NSLP and SBP. The CDE is requesting the authority to grant the SNP sponsor with the flexibility to elect for CEP by September 30, 2023, using ISP data from August 1, 2023.

  30. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of Temple City Unified School District (USD). This waiver would allow the CDE to retroactively approve Temple City USD’s School Breakfast Program (SBP) approval. Temple City USD experienced a delay in completing the application process for the SBP due to circumstances outside their control, and are requesting special consideration from the USDA to allow meal reimbursement for breakfasts served prior to SBP approval.

  31. The CDE is requesting waivers for all NSLP, SBP, SFSP, and SSO operators who are impacted by an unanticipated school closure as the result of a disaster, unscheduled building maintenance, court order related to school safety, or labor management disputes. Under these circumstances the following flexibilities are available to operators: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pickup, meal service times, and offer versus serve requirements.

  32. The CDE is requesting a CEP waiver on behalf of Twin Rivers USD, in good standing, approved to operate the NSLP and SBP. The CDE is requesting the authority to grant the SNP sponsor with the flexibility to elect for CEP by September 30, 2023.

  33. The CDE is requesting a CEP waiver on behalf of Auburn Union Elementary School District (ESD), in good standing, approved to operate the NSLP and SBP. The CDE is requesting the authority to grant the SNP sponsor with the flexibility to elect for CEP by September 30, 2023.

  34. The CDE is requesting Non-Congregate Feeding and Meal Time Flexibility waivers for School Nutrition Program Operators to provide two meals during shortened school days of four hours or less in SY 2023–24.

  35. The NSD is requesting a waiver to delay the implementation of Final Rule: Streamlining Program Requirements and Improving Integrity in the SFSP until October 1, 2024.

  36. The CDE in partnership with the California Department of Social Services, is requesting to waive two Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (S-EBT) requirements for benefit issuance prior to and during the S-EBT Summer operational period.

  37. The CDE is requesting approval on behalf of SFSP and SSO program operators in good standing to operate approved outdoor meal sites without temperature-controlled alternative sites as non-congregate sites on days when the area is experiencing excessive heat. Under these circumstances, the following flexibilities are available to operators: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pick up and meal service times requirements.

  38. The CDE is requesting approval on behalf of SFSP and SSO program operators in good standing to operate approved outdoor meal sites without alternative indoor sites as non-congregate sites on days when the area is experiencing certain air quality advisories. Under these circumstances, the following flexibilities are available to operators: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pick up and meal service times requirements.

  39. The CDE is requesting waivers for all NSLP, SBP, SFSP, and SSO operators who are impacted by an unanticipated school closure as the result of a disaster, unscheduled building maintenance, court order related to school safety, or labor management disputes. Under these circumstances the following flexibilities are available to operators: non-congregate meal service, parent/guardian meal pickup, meal service times and service of meals at school sites requirements.

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Questions:   Program Accountability Administration | 916-327-2256
Last Reviewed: Monday, May 06, 2024
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