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SFSP Meal Pattern Flexibility Waiver Extension 5

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

UPDATE: On July 30, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the effective date of the national waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) through August 31, 2020. The previous meal pattern waiver for the SFSP (EXTENSION #4) was effective through July 31, 2020.

SFSP Operators do not need to resubmit a meal pattern waiver if one was previously submitted and approved unless a waiver for additional meal components is needed. SFSP Operators should make every effort to provide nutritious meals while protecting children from COVID-19.

The meal pattern waiver application is located at Meal Pattern Waiver Application. Once you submit the application, you will receive an email notification from the California Department of Education (CDE) on your waiver request.

As a reminder, the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Seamless Summer Option (SSO) follows the NSLP and School Breakfast Program (SBP) meal patterns. Therefore, EXTENSION #4 applies to SSO operations for the duration of summer 2020.

Once the 2020–21 school year begins, regardless of whether distance learning is in place. School Food Authorities, must claim meals and snacks under the NSLP and SBP. The Nutrition Services Division continues to advocate with USDA for Universal Meals given the complexity of tracking eligibility while most schools continue with some form of distance learning.

Updates regarding the USDA waivers and any additional information agencies need to implement them will be posted to the CDE COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools web page.

We appreciate your patience as we process waiver requests and answer your questions. Thank you again for your efforts to provide meals to our most vulnerable participants.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the CDE NSD by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, July 31, 2020
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