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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).
Important Notice: CACFP Program Moved to CDSS

The Early Childhood Development Act of 2020 (Senate Bill (SB) 98, Chapter 24, Statutes of 2020) authorized the transfer of child care and development programs administered by the California Department of Education to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) effective July 1, 2021. The content on this page may not be current and involves the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) that has moved to CDSS. Visit the CDSS CACFP web page External link opens in new window or tab. or call 1-833-559-2420 for more information.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

General Information

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service established a waiver request protocol for certain 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 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, SBP, and the CACFP affected by the COVID-19. Program operators will be required to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis if the COVID-19 causes school site or district closures. The CDE requested approval for affected program operators to provide meals using the SFSP meal pattern at Seamless Summer Option (SSO) sites.

  2. The CDE is requesting a waiver for approved program operators to utilize alternative distribution approaches that provide meals for multiple days, up to one week at a time. This waiver request would waive meal service time requirements in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 225.16(c)(1) and 7 CFR, Section 225.16(c)(2).

  3. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators of the CACFP affected by the COVID-19. This waiver will allow program operators in affected sites to either serve meals to participants at a site that has closed or serve meals via noncongregate feeding; the waiver will also allow sites to serve meals that do not meet the CACFP meal pattern requirements. Program operators will be required to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis if the COVID-19 causes site or program operator closures.

  4. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators of the CACFP affected by the COVID-19. This waiver will allow the CDE to suspend the CACFP monitoring requirements for both state agency and program operator staff in accordance with California Department of Public Health guidance. As the new site monitoring requirements for SFSP are still in effect, the CDE also requests that this waiver apply to SFSP Operators. In addition, the waiver will allow the CDE to reschedule CACFP administrative reviews at a later date. Program operators will be required to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis if the COVID-19 adversely affects their ability to meet current program monitoring requirements, regardless of their good standing status.

  5. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the NSLP, SBP, CACFP, and SFSP affected by the COVID-19. Program operators will be required to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis if the COVID-19 causes site or program operator closures. The CDE requested approval for affected program operators to submit claims for reimbursement beyond the federal 60 day requirement.

  6. The CDE is requesting a waiver for School Nutrition Program (SNP) Operators of the NSLP and SBP affected by the COVID-19. Program operators will be required to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis if the COVID-19 causes site or program operator closures. The CDE requested approval for affected program operators to waive the food safety inspection report requirement for school year 2019–20.

  7. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators of the NSLP utilizing the non-congregate SSO, SFSP, and CACFP operators affected by the COVID-19. CNP operators in good standing and who are operating during an unanticipated school closure due to COVID-19 would be required to opt-in to participate in the waiver and receive approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis. The CDE requested approval for affected program operators to receive free reimbursement for adult meals served to parents or legal guardians of eligible children.

  8. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the CACFP affected by the COVID-19. Program operators would be required to opt-in to participate in the waiver and receive approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis. The CDE requested approval for affected CACFP program operators to provide meals in communities that are not area eligible in instances in which the area eligibility rate is 40 percent or greater, or if the program operator can demonstrate a significant economic disruption in the area as a result of COVID-19.

  9. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the NSLP affected by the COVID-19. For those affected CNP operators having their 2019-20 SNP AR move to 2020-21, the CDE has request approval to use the 2019-20 completed Off-site Assessment Tool and Resource Management risk indicator tool in their 2020-21 SNP AR.

  10. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators of the FFVP affected by the COVID-19. This waiver will: 1) allow an FFVP site that was closed during COVID-19 to be able to continue offering the FFVP at any site offering meals to the community, and 2) allow parents or guardians to pick up the FFVP snacks from the school site(s) without the child(ren) being in attendance.

  11. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of CNP operators in good standing, who are scheduled for an SFSP and/or SSO administrative review (AR) in school year (SY) 2019–20. The CDE requested exemption from the SSO review cycle requirement for School Food Authorities (SFAs) who have completed a SY 2019–20 SNP AR and who were serving their communities by operating SSO as a result of unanticipated school closures. The CDE also requested exemption from the SFSP review cycle requirements for existing SFSP program operators who are in good standing.

  12. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the SSO and SFSP, to extend the non-congregate feeding waiver through September 30, 2020. Program operators already serving under the waiver will be allowed to continue uninterrupted service to their communities. Program operators who are serving during the traditional summer months will need to opt-in to participate.

  13. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the SSO and SFSP, to extend the area eligibility waiver through September 30, 2020. Program operators already serving at sites with a population of free and reduced-price students at less than 50 percent, will be allowed to continue uninterrupted service to their communities. Program operators who are serving during the traditional summer months will need to opt-in to participate.

  14. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the SSO and SFSP, to extend the waiver which provides parents and guardians the ability to pick-up meals without the children being present, through September 30, 2020. Program operators who have already opted in to this waiver will be allowed to continue uninterrupted service to their communities. Program operators who are serving during the traditional summer months will need to opt-in to participate.

  15. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the SSO and SFSP, who also participate in the non-congregate feeding waiver. This waiver would allow program operators that have been serving at sites less than the quarter mile range to continue their service without disruption.

  16. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators of the SFSP who have been serving meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, to continue meal service throughout the summer without meeting the mandatory pre-operational requirements for training, budget updates, and management plan updates. The deadline to complete these requirements will be changed to September 30, 2020.

  17. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators, in good standing, of the NSLP, SBP, and the CACFP affected by the COVID-19. The CDE requests exemption from federal requirements related to congregate feeding, meal service times, and afterschool enrichment activities through school year 2020–21.

  18. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CACFP Program Operators, in good standing, affected by the COVID-19. Program operators would be required to request approval from the CDE to participate in the waiver on a case-by-case basis if the COVID-19 continues to pose a public health risk. This waiver will allow program operators to operate the CACFP At-risk component (without enrichment) and the SFSP or SSO simultaneously, for all of summer 2020.

  19. The CDE is requesting a waiver for SNP Operators of the NSLP and SBP affected by COVID-19. Program operators will be required to request approval from the CDE on a case-by-case basis if hybrid instructional models or other operational adjustments due to COVID-19 causes delays in acquiring meal applications from families at the start of the 2020–21 school year. The CDE requests the authority to approve affected program operators to extend the 30 operating days eligibility carry over period to 90 operating days.

  20. The CDE is requesting a waiver for SNP Operators of the NSLP and SBP affected by COVID-19. Program operators that established their Provision 2 base year in SY 2019–20 were affected by the unanticipated closure and transitioned to emergency COVID-19 feeding during the month of March 2020. The CDE requests that program operators can annualize their claiming percentages from the beginning of the 2019–20 SY through February 2020 in order to establish their monthly claiming percentages for the 2019–20 SY.

  21. The CDE is requesting a waiver for SNP Operators of the NSLP and SBP affected by COVID-19. Considering the current health and safety issues of dispensing potable water to students, the CDE is requesting that program operators not be required to provide potable water during meal times in the NSLP or in the cafeteria during SBP during the pandemic.

  22. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CACFP Operators affected by COVID-19. The CDE request that program operators in good standing may conduct all monitoring visits through desk audit, with phone and/or video follow-up as needed, through August 31, 2021.

  23. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP Operators, in good standing, of the NSLP and the SBP that are reopening schools and meal service operations under federal, state, and local guidance on COVID-19. The CDE requests that program operators forgo the on-site monitoring requirements for the 2020-21 school year in order to support physical school closure orders and minimize potential exposure to COVID-19.

  24. The CDE is requesting a waiver for SFAs operating the NSLP and the SBP in good standing to allow service of meals using the SSO or the SFSP through SY 2020–21. Additionally, the sponsors utilizing the SSO or SFSP flexibility for SY 2020–21 would also be allowed to continue using the area eligibility waiver which has been in effect for California since April 2020.

  25. The CDE is requesting a waiver for program operators in good standing that operate the NSLP, SBP, CACFP, SFSP and/or SSO in Lake, Napa, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Yolo Counties. These counties were identified in the Presidential Disaster Declaration issued on August 22, 2020. The wavier will allow meal flexibilities, parent pick up, non-congregate meal time flexibility, operation of the SSO/SFSP, and claiming at the free rate during this disaster from August 18, 2020 through the duration of the state declaration of emergency or November 2020, whichever is sooner.

  26. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators, in good standing, of the NSLP and SBP that are reopening schools and meal service operations under federal, state, and local guidance on COVID-19. The CDE requested approval to extend the claim submission deadline for meals served during the months of July, August, and September 2020 to December 31, 2020.

  27. The CDE is requesting two waivers for CNP Operators of the FFVP affected by the COVID-19 in SY 2021–22. The waivers will: 1) allow an FFVP site that was closed during COVID-19 to be able to continue offering the FFVP at any site offering meals to the community, and 2) allow parents or guardians to pick up the FFVP snacks from the school site(s) without the child(ren) being in attendance.

  28. The CDE is requesting a waiver to modify the USDA Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Opt-In Waiver for SY 2020–2021 NSLP USDA Foods Entitlement Calculations in order for Food Distribution Program recipients to receive entitlement based on the higher of the last two years meals counts. This modification would provide participants the most beneficial entitlement value available in the original waiver.

  29. The CDE is requesting a waiver for CNP operators, in good standing, of the SNP and CACFP that are affected by COVID-19. The CDE requested approval to waiver certain SNP AR requirements in SY 2020–21, extend the SNP AR cycle to six years, and waiver the CACFP state monitoring requirement in federal fiscal year 2020–21.

  30. The CDE is requesting a waiver for SFAs in good standing who operate the NSLP and the SBP. The waiver would allow the CDE to perform a procurement review of Food Service Management Company contracts beyond the three year requirement. The waiver would be effective through June 30, 2022.

  31. The CDE is requesting a waiver that would allow the CDE to charge up to five percent of the total annual FFVP grant award towards state administrative costs.

  32. The CDE is requesting a waiver on behalf of CNP operators in good standing and who are approved to operate the NSLP, SBP, SSO, SFSP, and CACFP. The waiver would extend USDA CN Response 37, 41, 59, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, and 70 through September 30, 2021.

  33. The CDE is requesting a waiver to extend the time period provided in regulation for the review and approval of sponsor and site applications from 30 days to 60 days from June 1, 2021, to January 31, 2022.

  34. The CDE is requesting a waiver to extend the time period provided in regulation for the payment of reimbursement claims from 45 days to 90 days for claims received or due to be paid from July 1, 2021 to January 31, 2022.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the Program Accountability Administration by phone at 916-327-2256.

Follow @CDENutrition on Twitter.

Questions:   Program Accountability Administration | 916-327-2256
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 6, 2021
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